August Edition

Welcome to the CoS August newsletter.  This month we bring you the new Schools of Sanctuary website, anti-racism resources, a new project - Connect & Create, new reports and several job opportunities.  We love to hear your stories so please contact us with your news. We can help you get stories onto the website and in your local media. See this Brief Guide to Communications for City of Sanctuary groups. 

Please share this newsletter with your supporters and networks. 
See all the latest stories on our website
News from around the Network
 New Schools of Sanctuary Website
Our new Schools of Sanctuary website is now live.Please take a look and share with local schools. Resources are easily navigable and there are examples of good practice as well as clear guidance on applying for a School of Sanctuary award. Look out for the new resource pack coming in the autumn.
 42 Schools of Sanctuary in Northern Ireland 
Congratulations to the 14 new  schools recently awarded in Northern Ireland where there are now 42 Schools of Sanctuary. Read about the partnership work with the Northern Ireland Education Board, the Executive Committee and people seeking sanctuary which is behind this success.
11 Universities in Scotland discuss Universities of Sanctuary  

Read more about Widening Access and Participation professionals from 11 Scottish Universities and several third sector organisations meeting online in July, to discuss refugees’ access to higher education in Scotland. 
Continuing support through the Pandemic 
We remain impressed by the network rising to the challenges of the pandemic and continuing practical and online activities. Read about the great practice in Northumberland. where they have set up online language groups and continue to provide practical support to nearly 300 people.  

Over 40 members of the network had a successful online facilitated conversation to share best practice on opening drop-in sessions and other face to face activities and you can read about it here.

Don't forget the Covid-19 pages on the website which includes up to date funding opportunities. 
 Connect & Create 
City of Sanctuary UK are partnering with Displace Yourself Theatre and Citizens Songwriters to bring people together online through creative activities including film-making, songwriting, theatre, meditation and games. Something most days from 17th August through September. We can 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
Sanctuary Ambassadors impress the Welsh government 
You can read about and see footage of an amazing online event on the theme of Imagine for Refugee Week hosted by refugees who influenced the Welsh government on access to education and employment issues. As the chair Godwin Akinyele said: Together, we shall move this land forward, and make it a place where everyone calls true home, where everyone flourishes and a great example among its equals. Just imagine that… if you could, then it’s achievable.
For more news from around the network, please visit our website

Campaigns and Actions
 Action to promote #LifttheBan 
In response to the new report, we suggest actions for groups to take to help promote the new Lift the Ban report which supports this important and winnable campaign. Checkout the ideas and resources here.  See also the other new reports below. 
Miles for Refugees 
The British Red Cross is organising a virtual sponsored event, challenging the nation to cover the miles a refugee might be forced to travel to reach safety – in just one month.  This is an opportunity to raise funds to support the Red Cross to deliver support to people seeking sanctuary in dozens of dispersal cities. Check out the details here. 

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
New Reports  

Important new reports have been recently published about the right to work, the effect of the pandemic on women and also the disaster of the new accommodation contracts for people seeking sanctuary.  

The updated "Lift the Ban: why giving people the right to work makes common sense" is already getting media attention. Help #LifttheBan by checking out this article and using the resources provided. 

‘Hear Us’: Sisters not Strangers report from a coalition of 8 organisations supporting women seeking sanctuary is a painful but necessary read. It is based on interviews with over 100 women, stuck in an unfair and ineffective asylum system, on how they have been  affected by the pandemic.

Wake Up Callnew report on the failings of asylum accommodation and support contracts. "It exposes a system characterised by substandard performance, fragility, an inability to withstand change and a tendency to lurch from crisis to crisis." 

All these  reports deserve wide coverage and sharing with MPs to help raise awareness of what is going wrong, what needs to be done and the urgent need for reform. Tell your MP that you want the UK to be better than this. 
 Resources for Anti-racism

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, we have created a page with links to a wide range of resources (books, films, articles, podcasts etc.) to help educate ourselves about racism and to become actively anti-racist in our practice. Please visit these pages, to learn and help us to develop them by sending resource ideas to
Job Opportunities
  •  Stop the Traffik (STT) is seeking a bilingual ( Arabic) Project Officer – Analyst. This post can be done in London or remotely and the deadline is 10th August.  
  • Entraide is looking to recruit a Caseworker to provide advocacy to Syrian families in Solihull. Deadline is 14th August.
  • These Walls Must Fall are recruiting 3 part-time campaign coordinators in Liverpool,Manchester and North Yorkshire, Closing date 23rd August. A brilliant opportunity for refugee activists. 
  • Migrants Right Network have a vacancy Campaign Officer with a closing date of 10th August.
  • 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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