September Edition

Welcome to the CoS September newsletter.  We hope that many of you will have had some sort of refreshing break this summer despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This month we #Standup4Sanctuary, celebrate University of Edinburgh, promote #SanctuaryinArts and link you to #LifttheBan activism toolkit.
Please tell us your good news stories and share this newsletter with your supporters and networks. 
See all the latest stories on our website
News from around the Network
 Stand up for Sanctuary
We have developed some resources and ideas for individuals and groups in our network to show their support for the UK to be a place of welcome and hope for those seeking sanctuary.  Our message is more important than ever, as we face increasing negativity and fear mongering from politicians and the media in response to the channel crossings. We continue to #Standup4Sanctuary"and also support the iMiX campaign to #ChangetheStory by posting positive stories of welcome. 

Check out our suggestions here which includes template letter for MPs and advice on how to contact the media.
Covid Memories Project
 Preston City of Sanctuary were awarded a £500 grant from Lancashire CC as part of it’s Covid Community Fund. Their application was premised on collecting the memories of lockdown from children and young people aged 5-18 from local refugee and asylum seeking families. For the full story, images and submissions click here.
Congratulations Edinburgh 
 The University of Edinburgh has become the first institution to renew its Sanctuary Award as a University of Sanctuary, reaffirming a commitment to creating a culture of inclusivity and awareness, for those seeking sanctuary, on campus and within the city.  See the great work they are doing. 
 Connect & Create 
Our partnership with with Displace Yourself Theatre and Citizens Songwriters bringing people together online through creative activities including film-making, songwriting, theatre, meditation and games is going well. Join us throughout September. We can still support people seeking sanctuary with data and may be able to help with other access issues. More information and registration here or download the flyer and share widely.
For more news from around the network, please visit our website

Campaigns and Actions
 Take Action against Detention of Children
Immigration detention has caused lasting trauma and shattered the lives of thousands of adults – it’s definitely not a place for children. Please see Detention Action blog on why public pressure is so important and sign and share the petition to stop holding children in detention.  
 #LifttheBan Activism Pack

The Lift The Ban campaign has published an updated local activism pack, full of tips and suggestions for Lift The Ban campaigners on how to help build momentum to win the right to work for people seeking asylum. A brilliant useful tool for all groups and activists. 
Promoting Safe Surgeries  
 City of Sanctuary ( CoS) and Doctors of the World (DOTW) are working together to ensure everyone, including people seeking sanctuary, has the right to healthcare in the UK.  Safe Surgeries provide primary healthcare to all and remove barriers to registration. They are the first step to Surgeries of Sanctuary. Please read more and contact us if you want support to promote Safe Surgeries in your City of Sanctuary. 
 Participants Needed
Are you a refugee or an asylum seeker father who has experienced maternity services in the UK with your partner? Andy Mprah is exploring this topic for his PhD.  Andy would really like to hear about your experiences of maternity services. You are invited to take part in a discussion lasting about an hour. The findings will lead to improvements for migrant fathers using the UK maternity services.

Name: Andy Mprah
Position: PhD Doctoral Researcher
Tel: 07827981927

The Asylum Matters website has more campaigns to follow and support. These include asylum support and accommodation, access to healthcare, and the right to work. Their news page provides weekly updates on the refugee sector current advocacy initiatives which are very informative. 
Events, Resources and Opportunities

Our series of Facilitated Conversations bringing together members of the network to share practice, challenges and find solutions on specific topics continues. Friday 25th September will focus on learning English online and is open to all ESOL teachers and their students seeking sanctuary. Click for more information and to register. 
Journeys International Festival
The excellent Festival of Sanctuary - Journeys Festival International, celebrating the talents of refugee artists and people seeking sanctuary goes online from 28th September - 18th October. Don't miss this wonderful festival which you can now follow from home. Details and Programme here. 

Nine Lives returns to London – tell your MP
Nine Lives, the powerful play about a gay man seeking sanctuary, is on this October at The Bridge Theatre in London. There are some sample tweets to engage your MP or London Councillor to attend here. #SanctuaryinArts is great way to educate and build compassion so please help to promote this. 
 Latest Immigration Statistics

Facts and figures are important to help keep perspective, especially in the current hysteria. See some headlines on our website here.  Asylum claims are actually down 40% for the period April to June this year.  Waiting times are getting longer, decisions are often wrong and  vulnerable refugees around the world are being denied the opportunity to resettle in the UK. We remember the people behind the figures - their stories and their suffering must be told. 
Job Opportunities
  • Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) are recruiting  for a Senior Policy Manager, Closing date 9 am, 7th September 2020. 
  • Action Foundation is looking to recruit a Drop-in Coordinator. Deadline is Sunday 13th September.
  • Refugee Action have 2 vacant posts - Experts by Experience Coordinator by 8th September  and Business Development by 16th September. 
  • On Road Media have a vacancy  for a Senior Communications and Interactions Manager closing date  14th September 2020.
  • Safe Passage are seeking a Press and Public Affairs Manager with closing date of  20th September 
  • Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) are looking for a new Director. Closing date 21st September
  • Sona Circle have job opportunities for people with a refugee background. 
*City of Sanctuary has a page of useful links to support refugees seeking employment.
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