We are delighted that you are thinking about becoming a group that will work towards making your city, town, borough, village or region a welcoming place of safety for all. Our network has grown to over 110 groups throughout the UK, since it began in Sheffield in 2005. It now represents a comprehensive and wide ranging commitment to welcome refugees.
City of Sanctuary 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. A group does not have to take on a specific structure and there are lots of different ways to set up a group. Some groups have paid workers and a formal budget, whereas others are entirely voluntary. There are rich and varied resources on our website to give you ideas.
All City of Sanctuary groups are expected to sign up as a network member. This commits them to the networks values and principles as set out in the City of Sanctuary charter, and to working towards our Theory of Change. The City of Sanctuary Charter provides groups with guidance and information to work towards our vision and enables the flexibility necessary for a grassroots movement to flourish.
Setting up a City of Sanctuary Group and registering with City of Sanctuary UK
Before you register:
- Please familiarise yourself with our Charter.
- It’s a good idea to check if there’s a local group in a village, town, city or area near you. You can do that here – Local groups. You may want to contact them to find out how they do things.
- Look at our Inspiration Hub and Group Activities pages to get some ideas about what your group could do.
- Contact the Coordinator for your area here to discuss setting up your group.
- There is support available for your group – Contact us
Register your details below to confirm your commitment to working towards our vision in a way which aligns with our values and network principles.
What are the benefits of registering your group?
- We can help you to create a website and set up email addresses for your group. We provide tools and training to help you with this, so do not worry if you haven’t got any any experience in this. Please visit this page or get in touch with our Website Support Officer, who will help you get started.
- Our Regional Coordinators can provide you with advice and support
- Sign up to receive our Newsletter
- You will be invited to attend regional conferences, meetings, training and national events (which are usually free and we are sometimes able to provide travel bursaries)
- There are some useful Resources for Groups to help you get your group up and running
- Our Inspiration Hub and Group Activities will provide you with ideas about what your group could do
Register your group
As a newly registered City of Sanctuary group, we agree to:-
- Work towards realising the City of Sanctuary vision across a specific place/area* (which could be a City, Town, Borough or village)
- Incorporate the network principles and values in our work (as outlined in the City of Sanctuary Charter).
- Incorporate the City of Sanctuary Theory of Change, specifically through connecting people seeking sanctuary with other local people.
- Go beyond what we can do to help people seeking sanctuary and seek to act as a rallying cry to other organisations and individuals to offer welcome.
- 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 people seeking sanctuary to run the group wherever possible and appropriate (a group does not need to take on a specific structure and there lots of different ways a group can function effectively and successfully).
- Be prepared to share successes, ideas and learning with other groups and the network (including joining in regional/national events).
- Avoid bringing the name of City of Sanctuary into disrepute and to abide by the City of Sanctuary values in all that they do.
- Complete an annual membership form updating all details and identify between three and five contacts to enable the City of Sanctuary UK to keep in touch (and to keep the team updated when changes to these contact details occur, providing full name, telephone and email details for each contact where possible).
- Complete an Annual Survey to update City of Sanctuary UK on activities and services.
- Abide by the City of Sanctuary website agreement
In registering your details below, you have accepted to work towards our vision in a way which aligns with our values and network principles. You have also agreed to commit to the first stage in the process of becoming a group and the list of actions above.
*There can be only one group in a specific geographical area and groups should not be working on a single issue but be working towards our wider vision of welcome.
Please see our Privacy Notice and Data Protection Policy for details about how we store and process personal data. By clicking ‘Submit’, you agree that we may process your data in accordance with these terms.
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What’s next? – Becoming a City of Sanctuary
There is no single formula for working towards becoming a City of Sanctuary*, or indeed for developing a successful and effective City of Sanctuary local group, but all groups should work towards undertaking the actions outlined in ‘Becoming a City of Sanctuary.’
*We use the term ‘City of Sanctuary’ but recognise it also includes, towns, boroughs, villages, region and communities.
These actions will help you on your journey towards making your City, Town, Village, region or communities a welcoming place of safety.