Local groups in the South West of England and Wales will gather in Swindon on Thursday 7th to share inspirational stories of welcome, providing safety for all and learn innovative ideas from each other and take to their local areas.

Conference organiser, Forward Maisokwadzo who doubles up as City of Sanctuary National Media & Communications, and South West Coordinator said:

“The main purpose for the day is that we can share and build on our own and each other’s strengths – that everyone does things a bit differently according to their own area, that each way is valid and this creativity and energy is a strength of the movement itself.  If we are able to organise together we can capture this unique moment in history to secure lasting change for refugees.”

It’s promising to be an exciting and inspiring day, taking place at Los Gatos in Old Town, where lunch will be served to all in attendance. Food is being cooked by Los Gatos and presented by some of the refugees who have donated recipes for Swindon City of Sanctuary’s popular Pop-Up Restaurants and for “Sanctuary Tapas”, an initiative created by Los Gatos as part of their pledge to support Swindon City of Sanctuary in making Swindon a Welcoming, Supportive and inclusive place to live.

Conference host, Swindon CoS Development Worker, Nicola Wood, said: “We are thoroughly excited to be hosting this year’s regional meeting for City of Sanctuary. It’s a wonderful way for us to celebrate how much we have achieved in the last year. “

Mrs Wood says, “It’s fantastic to be part of a growing movement to make the UK and Ireland a safe, welcoming place for all who live here, especially for those who have had to flee from war and persecution. We are sure to come away on Thursday inspired and motivated to continue our work.”

With a welcome from Swindon City of Sanctuary’s Chair, Shareen Campbell and Development Worker, Nicola Wood, there will be talks from the national charity’s Chief Officer, Sian Summer-Rees, as well as from delegates from Wales who are working on a “Wales, Nation of Sanctuary” project. Delegates from across the region will share ideas and successes from their areas.

Chair, Shareen Campbell added, “We live in a global community and it’s so important to show compassion, to have empathy and offer friendship to all our neighbours in need, no matter who they are, or what their background may be. For me this epitomises what the City of Sanctuary movement is about, creating a welcoming, inclusive place for all who live in our cities, towns or villages and this is at the heart of all we do.”

Conference programme can be accessed here

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