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City of Sanctuary networks call on Liz Truss to lead with compassion

City of Sanctuary UK have coordinated a letter with signatures from universities, schools, arts organisations, faith orgs and community groups, calling on Liz Truss to scrap cruel asylum policies and instead lead with compassion.

The letter is signed by 54 organisations including University of Sussex, Opera North, University of Warwick, Leeds Playhouse, Birkbeck University, University of Leicester and University of St Andrews.

Each of the signatories has a Sanctuary Award, a formal recognition of good practice in creating a culture of compassion, welcome and empowerment for refugees and asylum seekers.

Dear Liz Truss,

We the undersigned organisations and institutions have all been recognised for our commitment to welcoming refugees and people seeking asylum. We work hard for our communities to be inclusive and cohesive. 

As the new Prime Minister, we call on you to draw a line under the cruel and hostile policies that see people punished simply for seeking sanctuary – and instead pursue policies which represent who we are as a country.

We believe in a UK that welcomes and protects people fleeing torture, war and persecution – irrespective of where they are from or how they reached our shores; a UK that is proud of its diversity and recognises and celebrates how we are enriched by new arrivals. 

Real leadership is about having the strength to be compassionate, to be outward looking and forward thinking.


University of Glasgow Rachel Sandison
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, External Engagement
University of Warwick Paul Blagburn
Head of Widening Participation
University of Leicester Pascale Roussel
Director of Sanctuary
University of Sussex Dr Linda Morrice
Reader in Education and Migration
Sheffield Hallam University Krassimira Teneva
Sheffield Hallam University of Sanctuary Lead
Birkbeck, University of London Caroline McDonald
Director, Access and Engagement
University of Bradford Emma Young
Associate Director Student Success and Wellbeing
University of St Andrews R. B. MacKay
Vice Principal International
Newcastle University Julie Sanders
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost
Opera North Richard Mantle General Director
Leeds Playhouse Alexander Ferris
Associate Director
People’s History Museum Katy Ashton Director
Norwich Arts Centre Pasco-Q Kevlin Director
Brighton & Hove Libraries Norah Carr
Library Service Manager
Stand & Be Counted Theatre Company Rosie MacPherson Artistic Director
The Roman Catholic Deanery of St Andrew, Cambridge. Reverend David Finegan
Acting Dean of St Andrew’s Deanery
Cambridge Unitarian Church Revd Andrew James Brown
Minister of the Cambridge Unitarian Church
Downing Place United Reformed Church, Cambridge Dr William Owen Saxton Elders’ Clerk
Trinity Vineyard Church, Woolwich Rebecca Bickley Pastor
Jesus Lane Cambridge Quaker Meeting Celia Waterhouse Clerk
Cambridge City of Sanctuary Faiths’ Network Rosemary Victoria Watson
Co-coordinator, Cambridge City of Sanctuary Faith Groups Network
Surrey Square Primary School, Southwark Fiona Carrick-Davies
Family & Community Co-ordinator
Kensington Community Primary School Maisie Hesketh
School of Sanctuary and Anti-Bullying Lead
Sacred Heart Catholic School D Cooper Head of School
St Mary’s Lewisham Church of England Primary School Christine Bernard Headteacher
Horton Community Farm Ms Laura Ann B Director
Nam Yang Brighton Community Association Sam Byford-Winter Director
Bicycle Links CIC, Norwich Imogen Munn
Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network Rosario Guimba-Stewart CEO
Creating Ground CIC, Greenwich, London Laura Marziale Director
Northampton Town of Sanctuary Danielle Stone Chair
Harrogate District of Sanctuary Margaret Smith Trustee
East Hoathly Village of Sanctuary Tom Serpell Chair
Hastings Community of Sanctuary Jane Grimshaw Co-Chair
Durham City of Sanctuary Tanya Devereux Trustee
Herefordshire City of Sanctuary Jan Doran Secretary
Bristol City of Sanctuary Sarah Cooper Manager
North Lincolnshire Sanctuary Group Vicky Crowther Chair
Durham City of Sanctuary Dr Susan Frenk Co-Chair
Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees Florence Andrews
Chair of Trustees
Ripon City of Sanctuary Nicola David Chair
Causeway Borough of Sanctuary Yvonne Boyle Chair
Stafford Welcomes Refugees Norman Pearce Chair
Leicester City of Sanctuary Pete Hobson
Chair of Trustees
Manchester City of Sanctuary Liz Hibberd
Strategic and Partnership Lead
Bradford City of Sanctuary Kate Hart
Schools and Colleges of Sanctuary Project Lead
Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary Amanda Bevan Coordinator
Belfast City of Sanctuary Tiwalade Olatunbosun Director
Swansea CIty of Sanctuary Kathryn Williams Secretary
Bradford City of Sanctuary Will Sutcliffe Chair
Herefordshire City of Sanctuary Jan Doran Secretary
Denbighshire County of Sanctuary Leyla Beattie Trustee
Richmond Town of Sanctuary, North Yorkshire Milja Spruit Coordinator
Reading Refugee Support Group Nick Harborne CEO