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Information for the AGM

Programme – CoS AGM 2016
AGM Inspiration Workshops
Summary Report on the Consultation held at CoS AGM April 20th 2015
OPEL project summary for 2016 AGM
Strategic Options Questionnaire for AGM 2016
Strategic Options paper for AGM 2016

Dear City of Sanctuary colleagues and friends,

NB If you haven’t yet registered for the AGM, you can still do so on Eventbrite – or don’t worry, you can still come anyway!

We are looking forward to seeing you on Friday, at Oasis, 69B, Splott Road, Cardiff CF24 2BW. If you are coming by car there is plenty of street parking nearby. Otherwise it’s about 30 minutes walk from Cardiff Central Station or you can catch a Number 11 bus, which runs about every 10 minutes throughout the day, get off at St Saviours, and it’s a few yards further down Splott Road (note there are ongoing works around Cardiff Bus Station, adjacent to the train station, so you will have to check on arrival exactly where to catch the bus). An adult single is £1.80 – you need to have the right change.


If you are coming on Thursday evening, you are welcome to Oasis at any time from 4.00. There will be a chance to socialise, to meet some of the asylum seekers and refugees who use Oasis as a centre, to eat together, and to enjoy a very informal cultural programme. There will be some songs from Oasis’ choir between 5.00 and 6.00, food between 6.00 and 7.00, and some poetry, drama, film and music from about 7.30. (It’s not all fixed yet!). If you have something to offer to this programme or maybe a game or participative activity for us to join in, that would be great – if possible let us know or just bring it along.


You will know that we have been looking for two key people to take our organisation to the next stage – a Chief Officer to lead the staff team, and a Chair of Trustees to lead the trustee team. We are very pleased to tell you that we have this week been able to appoint Sian Summers Rees as Chief Officer. Sian has long been committed to City of Sanctuary and comes with an excellent record of management in the refugee sector and with dispersed organisations. We look forward to welcoming her to the team in autumn. She will be with us in Cardiff, so we hope many of you will get a chance to meet her.

We’re also delighted with the interest shown in the position of Chair, with more than one enquiry about what the role entails. The trustees have agreed on a nomination for this position from among the existing Board members, namely Sabir Zazai. Many of you know Sabir, who has represented us on many stages across UK and in Europe and who is Director of Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre. Sabir came as a refugee from Afghanistan and we’re pleased that he has agreed to this nomination, pending of course the election and formal AGM on Friday. (At the moment we do not whether there will a second nomination.)


We have a number of papers to help you prepare for an active role at the AGM and conference on Friday.

The first three are attached and the last two will be sent with a second email within the next day or so.

1 The (Draft) Programme. This may still change, especially as we are still receiving responses to last week’s email on uncertainties post-referendum, and we are committed to taking your views into account.

2 List of “Inspiration and Sharing” workshops for the 10.30-11.45 slot. Please come with an idea of which of these you would like to sign up for. Also, there is still space to highlight or offer a workshop on that special initiative in your place, so please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to bring something.

3 The ideas that came out of last year’s AGM. We hope that we have been able to implement some of these, such as the need for better regional communication networks. Others may still be relevant to our ongoing debate on priorities.

4 Note on Strategic Options. This is based on a draft by our outgoing Chair, but is under constant amendment at the moment, particularly considering the useful responses from some of you to our recent email about the post-referendum situation. Further changes will be continue to be informed by outside circumstances as well as by suggestions and insights you bring to the table. The AGM will be the most focussed opportunity to do this as a community, and you will see the note concludes with a list of questions for our World Café style workshop in the afternoon of the AGM. We expect to continue consultations under the guidance of our new Chair and Chief Officer before firming this up into a new Action Plan.

5 Questionnaire on Strategic Options. This is an opportunity for everyone individually to indicate their priorities and is an alternative way of inputting into the above consultation.

Additional paper – Summary of the OPEL Project: A proposal to take forward the work of Still Human Still Here and the Regional Asylum Activism (RAA) project with a new separate project to be hosted by City of Sanctuary.  This is one of two important partnership proposals under consideration by the Trustees at the moment, the other, from Amnesty International, being at a more preliminary stage.

We realise this is quite a lot of reading and we’re sorry it is coming only a few days before we meet. We hope it serves as a reminder that you, our network of local groups, are what the national charity is all about.

Our commitment to being as consultative as we possibly can remains a core value in the changing world we inhabit.

Alan Thomas (Chair of Trustees), Jonathan Ellis (Vice-Chair of Trustees), Tiffy Allen (Network Coordinator)