Last night, Wandsworth Council unanimously voted to become a Borough of Sanctuary. This is huge news.
This means every single councillor agreed that the borough should and will become a place of welcome, inclusion and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary.
Extra staff will work to make sure the borough is ready to provide as much support as possible to people seeking sanctuary based in the area.
In recent months, as well as providing homes for people fleeing Afghanistan, the borough has supported local people to sponsor 850 people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Deputy council leader Kemi Akinola said, “since the arrival of the Huguenots, Wandsworth has prided itself as a home for people fleeing wars and persecution. Wandsworth people are special and our communities are warm and welcoming.”
“Now we want to put the structures in place to ensure the borough will always welcome refugees, who over the years have done so much to make the borough what it is today.”
This phenomenal achievement is the culmination of tireless grassroots action over several years.
Lewisham was London’s first awarded London borough of Sanctuary, but there are now around ten other boroughs, including Wandsworth, working towards the Sanctuary award.
Find out more about the City of Sanctuary Local Authority network here.