The Sheffield Project for Refugee Integration and Growth (SPRING) is a collaboration of six organisations and supports new refugees to access housing, benefits, education, employment, and mental health support.
SPRING has been working with hundreds of new refugees since 2019 and, since the war in Ukraine began, has become a key support for new Ukrainian arrivals.
“City of Sanctuary Sheffield is really helpful and kind. I can say their doors are
always open for helping people who needed it. They are the best place to
go and get a hand of help.” (New refugee accessing SPRING)
In May alone we worked with 166 people, 112 of whom were Ukrainian and 55 who were from other countries such as Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to ensure they had access to universal credit, ESOL, community support, therapeutic support, and employment support. This has been made possible by the hard work of the staff and volunteer team, 7 of whom are Ukrainian new arrivals.
“We are a trusted and skilled organisation in the city and use our position to defend the rights of people seeking sanctuary” (CoSS Mission Statement)
Throughout this work we are committed to an ‘equality of service’ based on need and not nationality so that all refugees get the best possible support available.
During the Ukraine response we have sat on both the Silver and Gold level meetings with Sheffield City Council. In both groups we are working to deliver an excellent response for Ukrainian new arrivals, building on the outpouring of goodwill from the community; while also ensuring that there is an equality of service and that this moment is used to strengthen support in the long term for all new refugees looking to settle in Sheffield.
This is what should be expected of a city of sanctuary and we are working hard to make it a reality.