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See our Inspiration Hub and Group Activities section for examples of activities!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.

Things to think about

Please visit our page on Practicalities for information about managing volunteers, employing a worker, safeguarding and DBS checks.
For drop ins, the recording of our Facilitated Conversation on Drop ins (05/11/20) may be useful to help you think about drop ins and the pandemic.

Organising Activities

As part of your group’s activities, you may want to organise an event. You will need to decide from the beginning what the purpose of any particular event you organise is:

  • awareness raising
  • networking or social
  • fundraising

This will determine who you invite, what your budget is, what your goals are etc. Some events will combine different purposes eg. an Eritrean evening at a church could raise awareness as well as raising funds through selling tickets.

Bear in mind that any sanctuary seekers you invite may have limited personal funds so you may want to offer free tickets and arrange transport to help them to attend. 

Consent for photos

When it comes to taking photos and videos at events, it is important to get permission to use people’s images for anything that will be made public. In the case of asylum seekers in particular it can be important for their case to not appear publicly, and of course care needs to be taken when taking pictures of children.

We recommend at any events where you will be taking photos or making videos to make this very clear to attendees, and you can make posters asking people to come and find you if they wish not to be pictured.

You can find some templates in our Tools and Templates section.


‘How to run a stress-free event’ and ‘How to Plan a Charity Event’ from NCVO


Writing East Midlands and City of Sanctuary groups in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby ran three writing residencies in 2016-17. As a result they have published two books: ‘Riding on Solomon’s Carpet’, an anthology and ‘Write Here: a practical guide to running creative writing workshops with refugees and asylum seekers’ (downloadable).

Please see the page on Befriending, Welcome Projects and Mentoring for examples of great projects.

There is also a page on Welcome Project Resources, including template forms. 

Useful Resources and Links

Asylum Guides – a project from Refugee Action to provide tools that enable volunteers to support asylum seekers

Slides from Swansea City of Sanctuary ‘Welcome to Swansea’ project training on boundaries

The Refugee Phrasebook includes lots of useful words and phrases for orientation, in several different languages (they need help to develop some of the languages). 

Host Nation videos showcasing their work and the value of befriending. 

There is more information about Sanctuary Breaks on our Sanctuary Breaks page, including some useful resources

Please see our page on Hosting for some examples of projects.

We always recommend that anyone thinking of starting a hosting scheme consults the resources available through NACCOM.