Bradford City of Sanctuary exists to generate an environment of safety and hospitality, supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers across the District. We identify gaps in support, connect people to places and educate for an equal and diverse society.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working to adapt and respond to the immediate needs of sanctuary seekers in the city, whilst maintaining our original mission. New arrivals and those in temporary accommodation have long experienced isolation, lack of resources and uncertainty about their future. Now more than ever, our position and experience enables us to play an important role in consultations on ensuring that necessary support reaches those in greatest need, as well as being a conduit to ensure that the daily changes in central government and local authority policy and practice are communicated across the sector.
We are working closely with partner organisations, listening to their changing needs and helping them to connect and share learning with others. It is also vital that we remain a trusted resource of information for refugees and asylum seekers, who can give a clear picture of what is needed, whilst sharing good news stories across the network. In order to remain in this position, there are a number of ways you can help:
However big or small, every little really does help. CLICK HERE to Donate to Bradford City of Sanctuary today.
Promote and Share
We will continue to be visible and present on social media. Please share all the valuable information that we do, as this can not only change lives, but helps to encourage and generate a safe and welcoming environment. Follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER
In addition to our important ongoing work, during the current COVID-19 crisis we are acting as a trusted conduit for key COVID-19 related information relevant to the local refugee and asylum support network, including:
- Changes in Home Office policy;
- National and local campaigns and petitions re- government policy
- COVID-19 guidance in community languages
- Changes in service provision by local frontline agencies
- Online resources available to service users stuck in their homes (including food provision; English language; keep fit; virtual choirs;)
- Appeals to our many supporters across the district for clothing, children’s books and toys, etc.
Our ongoing work includes:
- Our fantastic Schools of Sanctuary project (currently supporting schools to best provide for children from vulnerable groups, including refugee families, during the current crisis)
- Developing a website to provide – with translation facility – in one place all the key information needed by newly arrived migrants to the city
- Leading on planning for a rolling programme of multi-disciplinary welcome and orientation sessions for new arrivals
- Developing our Help into Volunteering project for asylum seekers and refugees
- Engaging with key local services to support them to provide services more sympathetic to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees.
- On top of this we are actively seeking to ensure that we have sufficient funds to enable all of this work to continue in the longer term.
All the above is carried out by just two part-time staff, and some very dedicated volunteers! We are very grateful for all the support we receive.
We know that Bradford will pull through due to its generosity and fantastic community spirit, and that must include some of the most vulnerable residents.
Help us to continue making our Wonderful Bradford, a place of Sanctuary today.
The Bradford City of Sanctuary Team
In light of continuing concerns about Covid-19, The National Team have put out the following statement:
From Tuesday 17 March, City of Sanctuary UK staff will be working from home and will not be travelling to meetings. We will aim to attend all meetings remotely.
We have made this commitment to collective care: we have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in society. We of course acknowledge that we are not providing frontline services and we accept and respect the independence of groups to make their own decisions and contingency plans in the coming weeks in line with Government guidance. However we do ask you to consider alternative ways of working to best serve and protect the wellbeing of everyone, see our post for signposting information.