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Ideas for areas without asylum-seekers or refugees

Collect money or goods for refugees in European cities or camps (Calais, Lesbos etc.) It is best to do this through one of the international NGOs working in these areas, such as Medecins du Monde, Red Cross etc.

If anyone wants to collect goods, clothing etc. or even to drive to a particular place to help, please check online for what particular organisations and places require as some places have received quite a lot of inappropriate donations while being in great need of other things.

Supporting asylum-seekers and refugees in the nearest dispersal area by fundraising or volunteering for a local City of Sanctuary group or other organisations.

Some cities have voluntary hosting schemes for destitute asylum seekers which are likely to be in huge need of funds and voluntary help – contact NACCOM for details of where these are.

In many places, local City of Sanctuary groups or other organisations are involved in hosting projects. run drop-ins or welcome projects which probably need more voluntary help.

See what CoS groups are doing across the country via our Group Activities pages. 

Offer respite breaks and holidays. It can be really valuable for asylum seekers and refugees to get away for a day trip or even a few days into the countryside – to experience some local hospitality and culture, to practice English, and just to meet and share with people (don’t forget they have a great deal to offer as well as having needs). For other places doing this already see The Grange Home of Sanctuary  and this article about a village welcoming asylum seeking women and their children and this news item from Wales. Visit our Sanctuary Breaks pages to find out more.

Lobbying and campaigning. There are lots of online petitions etc.  Our website is frequently updated with information about campaigns.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter which will tell you about all the latest actions.

You can also look at our resources on talking to your MP and Advocacy and Campaigning and see what other groups are doing in this area.

Working with your Council on Syrian resettlement – if you are not in touch already, do find out who in your Council is dealing with this. Many Councils have already pledged to take a small number of Syrians but may need reassurance that local people are supportive and will be welcoming in practical ways; others may still need encouragement to join in.

You can have a look at what other groups are doing in this area and our resources on working with your Local Authority.

Local schools, universities, etc. could all become places of sanctuary even if there are no refugees in the community. Any school can become a School of Sanctuary and there is scope for other types of Sanctuary Awards eg. Library of Sanctuary, Gardens of Sanctuary.

Local awareness-raising. – you could approach local organisations to pledge support (see Resources for sample pledge forms) or perhaps arrange for someone, especially a refugee, to come and talk to e.g. a school, church group or other local organisation.

See our resources on awareness raising or what groups are doing in this area.