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City of Sanctuary groups come in all different shapes and sizes and each one is uniquely shaped by its location. 

When a group first registers with City of Sanctuary UK they agree to:-

  • Work towards making their city, town or area into a City, Town, Region or Area of Sanctuary by creating a culture of welcome and hospitality for people seeking safety.
  • Work to connect people seeking sanctuary 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, as well as refugee organisations.
  • Work as an alliance between local people and sanctuary seekers to run the group wherever possible and appropriate.
  • Be prepared to share successes, ideas and learning with other groups and the network. à 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 three and five contacts to enable the City of Sanctuary to keep in touch and keep the team updated when changes to these contact details occur, providing full name, telephone and email details for each contact where possible.

There is no single formula for developing a successful and effective City of Sanctuary group. In general terms groups should work towards undertaking the following actions:-

  • Offer a positive vision of a culture of welcome and hospitality to all;
  • Create opportunities for relationships of friendship and solidarity between local people and those seeking sanctuary;
  • Recognise and encourage partnership working and network development across localities;
  • Identify opportunities for working on common cause issues within and across communities;
  • Celebrate and promote the welcome and contribution of people seeking sanctuary;
  • Engage people seeking sanctuary in decision making processes at all levels and in all activities;
  • Promote understanding of asylum and refugee issues, especially by enabling refugee voices to be heard directly.

Groups may, if they wish, apply to City of Sanctuary UK for sanctuary recognition for their city, town or region by submitting an application for appraisal.

Please visit our page ‘How to set up a group’ to find out more