City of Sanctuary Chair and Honorary President Sabir Zazai presented Lord Alf Dubs, acclaimed international pianist Margaret Fingerhurt and human rights defender and Jeni Vine  with the Sanctuary Champion Award at City of Sanctuary national conference in Coventry yesterday.

The three were honoured for their commitment and continued work championing refugee rights.  Lord Dubs sent us this short video to show at the conference:

The following is Lord Dub’s acceptance message read by City of Sanctuary chair, Sabir Zazai.

I am hugely touched to receive this honour and very grateful to City of Sanctuary for thinking of me. When I arrived in the UK aged 6 on the kindertransport I found a society that was welcoming and supportive. I was given the opportunity to learn English, get an education and integrate. Had the UK not accepted me I am sure I would have perished in the death camps as many of our friends and families did. Instead I was able to build a career and a family and give something back to the society that welcomed me.

Because people like you are able to offer sanctuary and support to vulnerable people, others like me can live long and productive lives.

It is though the help of groups like yours that lives are saved and people, who through no fault of their own have lost everything, are given a second chance. I am reminded of the statement made by Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” and would like to thank you all for your part in doing precisely that- changing the world one village, one community group, one refugee and one conversation at a time. Keep going!”

                                                                Statement by Lord Dubs