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March Edition

Welcome to our March newsletter  with good news stories, new resources and opportunities as well as ideas for action that you can take which will make a difference.
 
Please share this newsletter with your supporters and networks. 
See all the latest stories on our website. 
News from around the Network
 
CoS UK Conference & AGM- Save the date!
 
This year’s annual conference, which will again coincide with our AGM, will take place on Wednesday 24th June in Bradford at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre.

Speakers at the conference will include a panel of experts by experience and discussions on our Theory of Change and work with Local Authorities. The popular annual event will provide networking and learning opportunities.  

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!
Yorkshire & Humberside 2020 Gathering
 
The Yorkshire and Humberside Gathering took place on Saturday 15 February 2020 at Leeds University – a brilliant day of sharing and learning between CoS groups and partner organisations working to promote sanctuary and welcome.  Read More
Another cohort of Sanctuary in Politics graduates!

On Saturday 29th February, 18 participants with lived experience graduated from the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside Sanctuary in Politics course, held at St Aidan’s College, Durham. Read more
 
Annual Survey launch

We are witnessing a huge growth in the range of activities across the growing network. Given the breadth of our wonderful network we need help from CoS groups to be able to recognise, acknowledge and report on the scale of the work and are looking for feedback in order to evaluate the support we provide to the network, to ensure that it is effective and meaningful. To this end we are launching an annual survey for CoS groups capturing the scale of your work and feedback on the services we provide. 
Inspiration at Refugee Week conference

CoS UK Trustee Caroline attended the Refugee Week conference in Bristol. This is her report. 
 
Norwich’s latest Theatre of Sanctuary

Norwich Theatre has become the latest organisation in the city to be recognised as a ‘Theatre of Sanctuary.’ The theatre has been working hard over the past year to meet the criteria that show that they are committed to supporting  people seeking sanctuary Read More
University of St Andrews welcomes Syrian Futures
 
Syrian Futures, an outreach project of the Alwaleed Centre within Edinburgh University, organised a visit to the University of St Andrews as part of its strategy to form links between Universities of Sanctuary and the Syrian community in Scotland. Read More
Bristol City Council approve its Refugee and Asylum Seeker Inclusion Strategy
 
Bristol City Council has approved its refreshed Refugee & Asylum Seeker Inclusion Strategy at a Cabinet meeting on Tues 3rd March.

Recommending the strategy to Cabinet, Deputy Mayor Asher Craig says the strategy’s purpose is to ensure that the City Council fully inhabits its role in leading a City of Sanctuary, by systematically and strategically considering how it can support refugee and asylum seeker inclusion across all its service areas and activities. It also provides a platform for increasing strategic coherence across the corporate body on refugee and asylum seeker issues.
Congratulations to staff and students at Ashleigh Primary School, Wymondham  and Garboldisham Primary School, Norwich on becoming Schools of Sanctuary!  
Congratulations to staff and students at Oasis Firvale, Oasis Don Valley School and Hatfield Academy in Sheffield on becoming Schools of Sanctuary!  
For more news from around the network, please visit our website

Campaigns and Actions
 
Lift the Ban Coalition Gathering

On 3rd March the Lift the Ban coalition came together to plan the next steps for the campaign for the right to work for people seeking asylum, with attendees travelling from across the UK to represent the 200+ charities, unions, faith groups, businesses and think tanks that make up the coalition. Read More
 
Right to vote extended for refugees in Scotland  

The right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections has been extended, with the passing of the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill. The Bill extends voting rights to all foreign nationals with leave to remain, including all those granted refugee status. Scottish Refugee Council have produced a video to explain the new legislation.
Families Together Update
 
On 11th February, Glasgow North MP, Patrick Grady presented the Families Together petition in the House of Commons.  For those of you who haven’t seen the photos of the hand-in yet, they are here.  If you would like to use them, please credit © MAVentoura/AIUK.
Keep warm and safe homes  
 
Empowered by Energy, a project run by the National Energy Action (NEA) to support refugees and asylum seekers to ensure they can keep warm and safe when living independently is looking for participants to take part in its pilot project. The pilot project will provide a programme of free interactive workshops for refugees and asylum seekers to empower them with energy  Read More
Asylum Matters seeking case studies for AIRE service

Asylum Matters  are looking for people who have accessed Migrant Help line services to share their perspectives and experiences.  They are preparing an advocacy report on the Advice, Issue, Reporting, Eligibility (AIRE) and AASC contracts to ensure adequate services are being provided to people. See this article for more info.

 
Please visit the Asylum Matters website for more campaigns to follow and support.
Events, Resources and Opportunities
 
Sanctuary in Scotland Events

Two events exploring Churches of Sanctuary in Scotland will be held on 13th and 14th March in Edinburgh - A roundtable seminar on Churches of Sanctuary on the 13th and a Day conference on the 14th for Churches working with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Read more
New reports highlight the scale of destitution

Two new reports highlight the impact of asylum destitution and make some recommendations on what can done to address some of the challenges. Read more
Job Opportunities
 
  • 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.
  • Help Refugee are recruiting a Communications Officer. The application deadline is 9am Monday 23 March. Details can be found here
  • Refugee Action Kingston are recruiting a Director. The application deadline is  Monday 16 March 2020. Details can be found here
  • Asylum Support Appeals Project are recruiting a Training Co-ordinator/Legal Advisor. The application deadline is  Monday 16 March 2020. Details can be found here
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