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Help Us Build The Sanctuary > Build Communities > Build the World We Want To See

In this time of national political change, you can help change the world on your doorstep.

The Sanctuary is a vital space for people seeking sanctuary in Sheffield. It is a place where people find advocacy, solidarity, advice and community.  It is a place that is open when others remain closed and for many people it is a home from home. 

The Sanctuary has been built by and for Sheffield’s communities. In 2016, a review of needs highlighted the importance of building a place in Sheffield where people would feel safe and welcome. A place that was led by the needs of people seeking sanctuary. A place that could hold and build community, mutual support and community knowledge. In 2017, City of Sanctuary Sheffield launched a fundraising appeal for ‘an exciting new project to provide an international place of welcome in the city centre’. However, the project needed to raise over £50,000 to secure the lease and transform the premises for their intended purpose. In just 6 weeks nearly £70,000 was raised enabling City of Sanctuary Sheffield to bid for the Chapel Walk lease and in April 2018, The Sanctuary opened to the public. The Sanctuary’s existence is an incredible example of mutual aid in action. It was due to the willingness of people to take a risk and dream beyond what we have to create a better future.

Every day, hundreds of people use The Sanctuary. They come for community meals, ESOL classes, advice and signposting, to meet with solicitors, to use the computers, to have hot drink, to find a calm place to sit, to join a job club, or a drama group, or a zumba class; the list goes on.  It is also a hub for meeting and action – bringing people together to help build the world we all want to see; acting as a catalyst for collaboration and change. This summer we are moving out of The Sanctuary to make way for exciting building works on Chapel Walk.  We are taking this opportunity to do some building of our own – vastly improving The Sanctuary for the approximately 1500 people who come through the doors each month.  Our plans build on the work already done in 2017 and 2021 as part of our iterative development of this unique space.  These plans are rooted in listening deeply to the community who use the space and acting accordingly.  

Sketch of the redesigned downstairs space by social architect Louis Pohl

Our supporters have always believed in the dream of creating a city that is safe and welcoming to all people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary isn’t an end point but a constant process of creating. As we begin this summer’s rebuild, your support is once again crucial.  

Please consider donating to help us continue building a space of refuge and belonging for all.

With your support, we’ll return stronger, ready for the next season of our incredible work in this unique space. 

Thank you, 


Director, City of Sanctuary Sheffield