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150 people from across Bradford converged on St. Mary’s hall (BD1) on 14th October for City of Sanctuary Bradford’s second ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ event. The theme was “Stories of hope, struggle and achievement from people who have sought sanctuary in our city“.

After meeting and mingling over a hot meal, those attending were moved by the powerful and very personal story of the Lady Mayoress Cllr Naveeda Ikram’s own journey to the UK. 

Six speakers of different nationalities then spoke of how they had been able to overcome huge difficulties to be able to stand there that evening, but also of the many and inspiring ways in which they all are now contributing to the life of the city – and their hopes for the future.

Bradford’s Zimbabwean Choir stirred everyone with some wonderful songs, before a multi-national impromptu percussion group (see picture above), led by Sister Teresa, assembled on stage and got everyone’s toes tapping and hands clapping. This exploded into dancing as members of the Kurdish community closed the evening with some fantastic music and got everyone out of their seats. A vision of a City of Sanctuary – a place where complete strangers from different nationalities, ages and backgrounds join hands and dance together!

We will continue to work to see this vision spread across the city.

You can watch a snatch of the event on the brilliant new City of Sanctuary video, produced by the Media Trust: