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Get Involved

There are loads of ways you can get involved!

  • Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for news and information about the City of Sanctuary network.

  • Join a group

Find out if there is a City of Sanctuary group in your local area and contact them to find out what they’re up to!

If you’re interested in a particular Stream, find out if your local group is involved in that or discuss with them what you could do to get things moving in that area! For more information on streams of sanctuary (Arts, Health, Maternity, Gardens, Libraries, Schools, Colleges and Universities) please contact [email protected]

  • Start a group

If there isn’t a local City of Sanctuary group in your area, you could start one! All you need is three people. Have a look through our page on ‘How to set up a group’ for what to do next.

  • Fundraise

There are lots of local, national and international refugee charities in need of funds. You could organise a concert, do a sponsored walk, have a bake sale or recycle an old phone or ink cartridge! (contact us for a recycling envelope).

You can raise funds for City of Sanctuary through Give as you live – retailers donate a % of your online shopping from certain sites.  Click here for other ways you can donate to City of Sanctuary.

  • Campaign

There are many campaigns to support asylum seekers and refugees both within the UK and globally. Find out what Asylum Matters are campaigning on and how you can get involved. Current campaigns include advocacy around allowing asylum seekers to work, opposing NHS charging, increasing the asylum support rates, opening up family reunion opportunities, ending indefinite detention, lifting the ban on working and many others. Asylum Matters works in partnership with many others in the refugee support sector to advocate for a more humane asylum process and in particular to take forward the principles of the Birmingham Declaration. 

Check out our Advocacy page – what you can do from home.

Charities like Refugee Action and Refugee Council will also have campaigns or actions you can support.

  • Contact your MP

Write to your MP or arrange a meeting with them to discuss some of the issues facing sanctuary seekers in your local area or some of the problems with the system.

  • Talk to your Local Authority

Ask your Local Authority to sign up to the UNHCR #WithRefugees campaign. See our Local Authority pages for more ideas on what your local authority could do.

  • Donate clothes or goods

You may have a local donation point for collecting clothes and goods to go to refugees in camps across the world.  Many local groups also organise collections for people seeking sanctuary who are destitute or newly arrived without any clothing.  Groups also receive donations to provide internet data or devices for isolated people seeking sanctuary to support them to stay connected, especially through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Help Refugees accepts donations of specific items of clothing, goods and food.

Carry the Future can accept certain kinds of baby carriers.

The Bike Project takes unwanted bicycles to give refugees in the UK access to free and healthy transport.

You can also donate to Phone Credit for Refugees which provides practical help by giving people credit for their mobiles.

  • Volunteer

Contact your local Volunteer Centre, City of Sanctuary group or for information about local volunteering opportunities.

There are so many voluntary roles out there: befriending, English teaching, conversation practice, advice, helping a charity with its social media or website, becoming a trustee of a charity – there’s something for everyone!

  • Host

Government policy means that sanctuary seekers face destitution at multiple points in the asylum system. Volunteers across the country open their homes for 1 night onwards to those in need of a place to stay. Visit NACCOM or Refugees at Home to find out more about your local hosting project and how to help – hosting is not for everyone but projects often need volunteer support for other roles or help fundraising eg. for bus tickets for guests to reach hosts.

  • Community Sponsorship 

If there are no people seeking sanctuary dispersed to you area, you could investigate the possibility of organising a group to sponsor a refugee or a refugee family to leave a refugee camp and come and live in your community. Contact Reset for more information or register your interest.