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February Edition

Welcome to our February newsletter which has a special feature on working with local authorities. Please follow the links to each council case study for inspiration.  We also share news, opportunities, new resources and ideas for action. 
Please share this newsletter with your supporters and networks. 
See all the latest stories on our website. 
News from around the Network
Working with Local Authorities
We are delighted that a growing number of Local Authorities are prioritising their commitment to being a City (or town/Borough) of Sanctuary.  We are grateful to councils and local groups in Bradford, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Lewisham, Newcastle and Sheffield for providing articles on their work as part of our series focused on ‘Working with Local Authorities.

Over the last several months, the City of Sanctuary UK staff have been consulting with CoS groups, partners and local authorities to develop a proposal for our work with local authorities to be put to a vote at the 2020 AGM on June 24th in Bradford. In this article we briefly set out why we are carrying out this consultation and include the current draft proposal.  

As part of the consultation, a survey will shortly be sent to all City of Sanctuary groups to complete by April 3rd so please look out for this in your inbox.

Update from our Chief Officer and Chair of Trustees

Today we publish a letter from Chief Officer, Siân Summers-Rees and Chair of Trustees, Jonathan Ellis.  Click here for the letter which provides an update on the staff changes and the current capacity in City of Sanctuary UK.  This week we  welcome Abigail Grace to the team and say goodbye to Ben Margolis with a huge thanks for his inspirational work across the network over nearly two years. 
National Conference - Save the date!
This years AGM and annual conference will take place in Bradford on June 24th with our second annual Network Voice happening the day before. Please save the date and start planning for delegates to represent your group. More information on booking, travel and venue will be posted here soon!
Asylum Matters to become an Independent Organisation

City of Sanctuary UK is excited to announce that Asylum Matters, currently hosted by us, will be registering as an independent organisation this year.

When Asylum Matters was first created in early 2017, it was felt that a hosting arrangement was the best option for the nascent project, which would be developing a new model for campaigning in the asylum and refugee sector. As an organisation focused on building 
Colleges of Sanctuary - Leeds Meeting
In partnership with the Association of Colleges, City of Sanctuary organised a meeting of Further Education (FE) Colleges in Leeds on Friday 24 January 2020 at the Printworks campus of Leeds City College. The aims of the exploratory meeting was to bring together FE Colleges working 
Coventry Schools of Sanctuary at the Cathedral
The Coventry Ethnic Minority Achievement Service and head teachers gathered together on January 21 to launch the Schools of Sanctuary award. They were welcomed for the Schools of Sanctuary event by the Reverend Canon Kathryn Fleming to Coventry’s iconic Cathedral in the City of Peace and Reconciliation.

Leanne Cameron of EMAS introduced the day and Colleen Molloy of City of Sanctuary gave an account of the Schools of Sanctuary award. She described it as a useful school improvement
Congratulations to staff and students at Halesowen College, Birmingham on becoming a College of Sanctuary!  Read all about it here 
For more news from around the network, please visit our website

Campaigns and Actions
Lift the Ban - New Briefing for your  MP

Now is the time to reach out to your MP about the campaign to #LifttheBan on the right to work for people seeking sanctuary. The coalition has produced a new briefing for MPs and a template letter for new MPs and supportive MPs to support you to take this action. Please keep us informed of any outcomes. 
Click here for information about the Lift the Ban coalition partners event on 3rd March. 

Family Reunion Campaigns  
The Amnesty, Refugee Council and Save the Children report on the impact of UK refugee family reunion policy on separated children was launched to a packed room by the APPG on Refugees on Wednesday 29th January.  More information on the report can be found  here.  Th Families Together Coalition campaign toolkit is available  here.  Here is a great local coverage from The Northampton Chronicle about the  Northampton Town of Sanctuary's call for support. 
Detention Forum
City of Sanctuary UK is a member of Detention Forum and we congratulate Jonathan Ellis, our Chair of Trustees, for his recent appointment to Detention Forum as Campaigns Consultant. We must continue to support the campaign to end the unjust and unfair practice of indefinite detention.   

Please visit the Asylum Matters website for more campaigns to follow and support.
Events, Resources and Opportunities
Regional Gatherings 2020
The Yorkshire & Humberside CoS Regional Gathering is fast approaching on 15 February in Leeds. A  few spaces remain and we would love to see you there. For more information please visit our website
Theatre of Sanctuary Network Assembly

The second Theatre of Sanctuary Network Assembly will take place on Friday 21 February, from 11am – 3pm at Sheffield Theatres in the Adelphi Room. For more details click here
Map of newly elected MPs & Asylum/Resettlement Data

Big thanks to Andy Hewett for producing this very helpful map and data information to help you identify the 150 new MPs with people seeking sanctuary in their constituencies.  A useful resource!
BBC Briefing on Immigration

Another useful resource; this  BBC Briefing reflecting a broad range of perspectives covering the history and trends of immigration,  public perceptions and policy.  More information here
Speaking Tour by Award Winning Author of "No Friend but the Mountains" 

Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian refugee who was held in a detention centre in Manus Island (Papua New Guinea), for over six years while attempting to seek asylum in Australia. His book "No Friend but the Mountains", was written entirely via WhatsApp messages which was translated by Omid. Omid is touring with Behrouz on video chat in universities around the UK through February and March.  More information here
Job Opportunities
  • City of Sanctuary UK is recruiting a Midlands and East of England Regional Coordinator. Application deadline is Thursday 20th Feb 2020. For more information, please see here 
  • Asylum Matters  is recruiting an Director (Maternity Cover). The deadline is Tuesday 18 February 2020. Details can be found here
  • City of Sanctuary UK is seeking a new trustee to join the Board of Trustees in a secretarial role. Please help us find the right person and promote this  link to more information.
  • European Network on Statelessness is looking for Senior Child Rights Coordinator. Application deadline is  27 February 2020 (5pm). For more information, please see here
  • Migrants Organise are recruiting a Migrant Organiser. The deadline is 28 February 2020. Details can be found here
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