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Stories of Welcome Media Competition – Call for Entries

We are inviting and encouraging groups who are registered with City of Sanctuary and sanctuary seekers across the entire network (including Places of Sanctuary Ireland) to submit entries to our newly launched Stories of Welcome Media Competition.

The competition will celebrate the best examples of local communities welcoming sanctuary seekers into their towns, cities, villages, places and regions. We think it’s important that we showcase the great work the local groups of City of Sanctuary Network and sanctuary seekers are doing to make our regions and nations welcoming places of safety for all.

But we need your help.

We need you to tell us about what you are doing locally to make sanctuary seekers feel safe and welcomed. We want to hear about how your local community has worked hand in hand with sanctuary seekers to make your town a town of sanctuary. We want to hear your success stories.

What would entering the competition mean for you?

The three winning entries will win a cash prize to invest in your local group’s communications work – 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £150 and 3rd prize £100.  Shortlisted stories will be displayed at Sanctuary in Parliament event, and we will invite your local MP to come along to receive the award together with the group’s representatives. The top three stories will also be included in the commissioned ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ book which will be published towards the end of the year.

The winning entry will also receive tailored support from IMiX to develop and share their story through social and traditional media. IMiX will work with you to secure coverage to celebrate your group’s work in the local media – for example the local paper and TV and radio stations. And all entries will be included in the City of Sanctuary database of case studies for potential use working with the media.

What kinds of stories are we looking for?

We want to hear about great examples of local communities and sanctuary seekers working together to make somewhere a place of welcome and safety. We want to hear any story along the themes of welcome, safety, and acceptance from the sanctuary host community.

How will the competition work?

We will accept entries from any City of Sanctuary group across the network.

Entries are open from 20th of August and closing date is 10th October 2018.

Winners will be announced at Sanctuary in Parliament, Portcullis House on 12th November. The panel will comprise a former journalist who is a member of the National Union of Journalists, a sanctuary seeker, and a representative from IMiX and City of Sanctuary.


How should you enter?

You should email your entries to [email protected]

Stories should be written in a Word document of no more than 750 words. Think about what makes a powerful story: what happened? Why was it important to your local community? How did it impact on the people involved? How did they feel?

Include direct quotes and comments from the people involved talking about what they did, why it mattered, and what the experience was like.

You are encouraged to include photos and/or video to illustrate your story. Think about what images are most powerful – images of the people involved, images which give a sense of the local area. Make sure your photos are clear, well lit, and show something which adds to your story and that you have consent for the use of stories and photos.

We want to encourage maximum refugee participation in this competition – including entries written by refugees or including refugee testimonies in stories.

About IMiX

IMiX has partnered with City of Sanctuary to run the Stories of Welcome Media Competition. IMiX provides free media and communications support to the UK refugee protection and migrants’ rights sector. They work in partnership with some of the UK’s leading refugee protection NGOs and networks, including City of Sanctuary. They promote positive stories of welcome through the media, providing advice, resource, training and expertise on everything to do with working with the media to tell stories of sanctuary.

Terms and Conditions

  • We only accept entries from groups who are registered with City of Sanctuary.
  • A group can enter a maximum of three articles.
  • Once our panel has assessed your nomination, your group will be informed if they have been shortlisted.
  • All entries will potentially be used for City of Sanctuary publicity, and or work with the media.
  • The decisions made by the Judging Panel will be final.
  • Nominations are closing on 10th October 2018 Midnight.
  • The Stories of Welcome Media Competition will be held at the Sanctuary in Parliament on 12th of November 2018.

The three winning entries will be included in the book, “Stories of Sanctuary”, due for publication towards the end of 2018.