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Sanctuary Awards

We all have a part to play in building a more welcoming, inclusive and compassionate society. To celebrate the organisations who go above and beyond to welcome people seeking sanctuary, we have our Sanctuary Award programme.

Click here to see a full list of all awarded organisations across the UK

We accept applications for Sanctuary Awards from the following institutions: Universities, Further Education Colleges, Schools, Local Authorities, Faith Institutions, Libraries and Arts Organisations. We take a whole-institution approach so do not offer sanctuary awards to smaller entities, departments within one of these larger entities or to individuals. If you have any questions, please contact the programme leads.

Appraised by a panel including someone with lived experience of seeking sanctuary, and an expert in the field, this formal awards process recognises and rewards good practice and progress within a sector, whilst encouraging other organisations to do the same. All sanctuary awards are valid for three years after which point an institution will need to undergo a re-accreditation process.

Note: Prior to Dec 2020, City of Sanctuary UK used to run a locale-wide assessment process for cities, towns and other places. After much reflection and consultation, this process which saw whole cities and town designated as places of sanctuary, was scrapped. What replaced it is an institution by institution approach to embedding welcome locally. The Local Authority network was born, along with the Council of Sanctuary award. Councils are a key local institution that has the potential to lead the way in creating a tapestry of organisations, institution and places that seek to include and support people of sanctuary seeking background.

For all awards, applicants must demonstrate that they have done the following:

  • Learn: find out what it means to be seeking sanctuary; and be actively involved in awareness raising.
  • Embed: take positive action to make welcome and inclusion part of the values of your organisation or community, to support people who are seeking asylum and people who are refugees, and to include them in your activities.
  • Share your vision and achievements: let others know about the positive contribution of people seeking sanctuary make to our society and the benefits of a welcoming culture to everyone.

The process is underpinned by our values and broader principles, as outlined in the City of Sanctuary Charter.

Sanctuary Awards have been developed in conjunction with schools, universities, arts organisations and others.

Streams of Sanctuary

We have resources and websites for the increasing number of Streams of Sanctuary initiatives. Use the following links to access the relevant websites.

All other sanctuary awards use our generic award criteria which can be found here.

Please contact [email protected] if you need more information.

Please note: Awards are given by the City of Sanctuary UK organisation, the local City of Sanctuary group and partners in good faith and we cannot be held responsible for places of sanctuary who have been awarded but no longer subscribe to our values and principles.