Sian Summers-Rees, City of Sanctuary UK Chief Officer, reflects on the achievements and challenges of last year…
As we reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the past year, it becomes clear that the essence of our mission – welcome, compassion, and kindness – resonates more powerfully than ever across Britain. In the face of formidable obstacles, our networks have grown at an extraordinary rate. The more this government prioritises hostility and division – through the Nationality and Borders Act; the Rwanda policy; or housing people in unsafe barracks and barges – the more people are driven to resist by volunteering, campaigning or speaking up for refugee rights. A defining moment for us was when our Schools of Sanctuary programme faced an attack by GB News, led by Nigel Farage. The outpouring of support from within our sector, from individuals across the movement, and newfound allies was nothing short of incredible.
With politics so divisive and the far right on the rise, the current landscape is at a critical juncture, with our communities facing the risk of fragmentation. In response to this pressing need, we have developed and are now implementing a new programme specifically designed to bridge divides and encourage individuals to stand up for refugee rights. As we navigate these challenging times, our little team of 12 finds solace and inspiration in the resilience of our network and the unwavering support from all corners.
This impact report serves as a testament to our shared dedication to creating a more compassionate and inclusive society.
Thank you for being an integral part of this journey.
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