May Edition

Welcome to our May newsletter!  We hope you enjoy the bank holidays and take sanctuary for yourself  This month we  bring you more events, some great news stories, actions, resources and opportunities.  Our favourite story this month is from Penally. What is your favourite?  
Please share this newsletter with your supporters and networks.  See all the latest stories on our website. 
News from around the Network
Penally - a Story of Victory and Solidarity

This is an uplifting and heartwarming story about one of the newest groups in the network - County of Sanctuary  Pembrokeshire - a story of solidarity and welcome which reflects our principles and  theory of change. Please read it and share widely. A story to inspire with  lessons for us all. 
Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees 

A highly successful  meeting with several local refugee organisations and over 70 people including Alf Dubs and local MP Fleur Anderson launched the new Wandsworth Borough of Sanctuary network.  Other highlights involved Thimblemill the first Library of Sanctuary and Belgrade Theatre of Sanctuary. Read more! 
Goodbye Nawal 
Our wonderful colleague and friend Nawal left the organisation last week, read about her inspiring story - from being a CoS volunteer seeking sanctuary, to becoming a paid member of staff and now to software engineer for a global company.  See our memories and photos here. This week we will be inviting candidates to interview for her replacement. 
Hearts & Flowers from Community Sewing 

See this lovely tale about combating the isolation of lockdown for people seeking sanctuary and their supporters. The Friendship Quilt has brought people together from Swansea and across Breconshire. 

To Birkbeck, University of London for being the first University in London to achieve the University of Sanctuary award. 
 Please tell us about your awards work. 
For more news from around the network, please visit our website

Campaigns and Actions
Together With Refugees

An important new coalition campaign will be launched on the 10th May. It calls for a better approach to supporting people seeking sanctuary that is effective, fair and humane. How we treat people seeking sanctuary is about #WhoWeAre. Check it out and join us by signing up your group or organisation now! 
New Immigration Plans 

Many of us are responding to the New Immigration Plans, see  Together we will Stand up for Sanctuary for the City of Sanctuary UK response. Both CoS UK and the CoS Local Authority Steering Group are submitting consultation responses. We have also joined almost 200 organisations in levelling criticism at the flawed consultation process and at the plans which have been described as “vague, unworkable, cruel and potentially unlawful”. We urge groups and individuals to join with us to Stand up for Sanctuary and sign this open letter
There is now a website for the No to Hassockfield Campaign against the new immigration detention centre for women being built near Durham. Please visit their website for actions you can take, follow on Twitter and F acebook. Petition here. Faith groups can sign an open letter by 7th May. 

Sign up to Asylum Matters regular updates to find out about campaign and advocacy initiatives.
Events, Resources and Opportunities
Facilitated Conversations 

Facilitated Conversations, bring together members of the network to share practice, challenges and find solutions on specific topics.  Click on the graphics below for information and to register.  Our key event this month is Network Voice when we consult with the network on our strategy for movement building. Keep your eye on our Latest Events page for all our upcoming  events.     
              New Shops of Sanctuary Resources              

Our latest stream Shops of Sanctuary has been launched after a pilot project with Oxfam shops.  Check out our new website and resources, both provide useful guidance and information on how to engage with local charity shops to raise awareness and support people seeking sanctuary access volunteering opportunities.
Videos worth a watch
The Art of Community: Celebrating 10 years of Swansea as a City of Sanctuary with artist Mary Hayman - a  Community Arts project co-creating  banners to celebrate the many people in Swansea who work together to promote refugee rights, solidarity and care.
Celebrating Sanctuary  - What does sanctuary mean to you? - a Celebration of  people with a vision for Sanctuary - our one and a half minute video project.  
Click the graphic below to watch them.             
Other News / Events
  • Solace - surviving exile and persecution have a 15th Anniversary Celebration  on 21st May. 
  • Refugee Support Network has re-branded to Refugee Education and can now be found at
 Training Resources 

Click on the images below for notes, slides and videos of these useful and inspirational  Facilitated Conversations:
Other Facilitated Conversations notes, slides and video recordings are all useful.   Check the Past Events for these including Befriending, Using Arts and Sports to support mental wellbeing, Resettlement, Teaching ESOL online, media training etc. 
            Success of Link to Learn                

Please see the evaluation of Link to Learn - our online home schools learning project which engaged 41 new volunteers working with 42 families. Thanks to Barrow Cadbury Trust and The National Lottery Community Fund for enabling us to make a real difference to 78 children from families seeking sanctuary.  Some of these families still connect with us through the ongoing Funday Friday sessions.  
              Briefings Response Project                  

The latest briefing from Hope not Hate and Migration Exchange regarding  far right activity and response to the new immigration plans. 
Job Opportunities
*City of Sanctuary UK has a page of useful links to support refugees seeking employment.
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