We are delighted that you are thinking about becoming a group that will work towards making your city, town or area a place of sanctuary! Our movement has grown to over 50 groups in cities, towns and other areas throughout the UK and Ireland since it began in Sheffield in 2005. It now represents a comprehensive and wide ranging commitment to welcome refugees.

City of Sanctuary’s member groups go beyond what they themselves can do to help refugees. They act as a rallying cry to other organisations and individuals in an area to offer sanctuary and welcome.   There are lots of different ways to be a city, town or area of sanctuary group. Some groups have paid workers and a formal budget, whereas others are entirely voluntary. While there are no formal rules about how to be a city of sanctuary group, there are rich and varied resources on our website to give you ideas.

What we do request, however, in order to maintain the cohesiveness of our broad movement, is that local groups endorse a broad approach, derived from and related to our core principles. Please familiarise yourself with the list below, add your contacts at the bottom of this sheet when you are happy, and return it to us.

In return we offer lots of support, which is listed on the page ‘What the national City of Sanctuary charity will do for local groups’.

Broad Guidelines for Member Groups of City of Sanctuary

As a city, town or area of sanctuary group we will:

  • Work towards making our city, town or area into a City, Town or Area of Sanctuary by creating a culture of welcome and hospitality for people seeking safety across the whole area.
  • Work to connect refugees with other local people and to celebrate their contribution to our communities, towns and cities.
  • Seek to be inclusive in generating a culture of welcome, involving different sectors such as education, local government, health, sports and arts, not only refugee organisations.
  • Involve sanctuary seekers in running our group wherever possible and appropriate.
  • Be prepared to share our successes, ideas and learning with other groups and the national City of Sanctuary network.
  • Join in regional events where possible.
  • Avoid bringing the name of City of Sanctuary into disrepute, in particular by not engaging in abusive, racist, discriminatory, exclusionary, offensive or dangerous behaviour.
  • Identify between one and five contacts to enable the national City of Sanctuary charity to keep in touch and keep the national City of Sanctuary team updated when changes to these contact details occur. Please provide full name, telephone and email details for each contact where possible.

Register your group