We are very sad to announce the sudden passing of Sophy Bryson, one of the founder members of the Belfast City of Sanctuary group and a true ambassador of sanctuary in everything she did. Several Belfast members attended her funeral and we have sent messages of condolence to her family. Lucy, her daughter, is a founder and driving member of our Brighton group, Sanctuary-on-Sea.

Sophy was one of the original Steering Group members, and much respected and loved by us all.  Sophy  was a lady of immense strength and wisdom, quiet, gentle, kind, generous and far seeing. She did great work throughout her life with a wide range of people. We were all inspired by the natural, selfless, unstudied kindness living within her and borne out of love for her neighbour, the welfare of the beneficiary being her only consideration. Sophy was quietly, modestly and loyally committed to acts of great kindness, so that the only people who would know about her kindness were those who benefited from it.

She also tutored English at NICRAS (Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers), and  students loved her gentleness and patience in this work. Bryson House was founded by her late husband’s family and she served on some of its boards, including Bryson Intercultural which works with refugees and asylum seekers. “The other” was priority for her, in all that she did.

We’ll leave you with a comment made by a 19 year old Iranian, one of Sophy’s students.

It is very SAD news to hear she is not with us any more. She was one of who helped me and was looking after me to not be alone she was look like my mum just what can I is pray for her to be with GOD In Heaven”

 

Colin Flinn and Tiffy Allen