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Celebrating sanctuary in London

Earlier this month we were joined in London by City of Sanctuary groups, partners and awarded organisations to celebrate all that our networks have achieved in the capital.

Chaired by Shams Abdou Moussa, co-chair of Tee Valley of Sanctuary and one of our lived experience Sanctuary Ambassadors, the evening marked two years since the start of our London coordinator and a concerted effort to supercharge our work in London.

Despite hostility and division pushed by politicians and the press, our networks support thousands of ordinary people to step up and show welcome.

Our key London achievements:

  • 13 London-based City of Sanctuary groups
  • 2 Awarded Boroughs of Sanctuary
  • We’re engaging with 23 of 32 London Councils
  • Birkbeck awarded University of Sanctuary. 4 more universities in the process
  • 6 Arts of Sanctuary Awards
  • Engaging with Royal Albert Hall, the Globe, Roundhouse, Southbank Centre and more. 7 Schools of Sanctuary
  • 17 further schools and 4 colleges have started the journey towards the award.
  • We have facilitated 2 Sanctuary in Politics courses

Speakers at the event included, Sian Summers-Rees, City of Sanctuary UK Chief officer, Councillor Ibtisam Adem and Helena McGinty from Lambeth Sanctuary Services at Lambeth Council, an awarded Local Authority of Sanctuary, and Comfort Adeyemi and Lubna Al Zain, Sanctuary in Politics graduates.

Comfort, who graduated in 2021, explained how since the course, she has been involved with several refugee rights campaigns, attended the Houses of Parliament and has spoken at the House of Lords to highlight the plight of people seeking sanctuary. She concluded with the news that she’s just applied to university to study politics and soon has her interview at Oxford University.

The evening was rounded off with food by refugee-led caterers Syrian Sunflower and a performance by the talented Abdoulaye Samb.