We run The Sanctuary, a welcoming and open one-stop shop, where asylum seekers and refugees can come for information, advice and support. It is somewhere they can feel safe—whatever their race, religion, sexuality, status, political opinion, mental or physical ability.
The Sanctuary is an open door through which new arrivals can come to chat, meet local people, use a computer, have a cup of tea, read the paper, or simply sit and keep warm. Between 50–70 individuals visit The Sanctuary every day.
City of Sanctuary Sheffield also hosts and co-ordinates a weekly multi-agency Drop-In, every Wednesday. This helps welcome newly arrived migrants and points them towards services, as well as connecting refugees and asylum seekers with crucial services, including health checks, a clothes bank and free barbers. The Drop-In also brings together a number of our partner organisations (including ASSIST, Sheffield Citizen’s Advice, and the Red Cross) in one place.
We deliver awareness-raising and educational activities in schools and communities across Sheffield and the surrounding area, enabling young people to meet refugees and, through hearing their stories, gain a better understanding of migration.
Our awareness coordinator (a refugee and expert by experience) delivers sessions to challenge the preconceptions others have about refugees and asylum seekers. In doing so we create champions who will support our fight for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
We also encourage and support schools to become Schools of Sanctuary, with teachers, staff and students who welcome everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.
Advocacy and Partnerships
City of Sanctuary Sheffield advocates for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom, in accordance with the principles laid out in the Birmingham Declaration of the 2014 Sanctuary Summit. We build partnerships with local charities, universities, voluntary organisations and faith groups, as well as with local government bodies.
We host the monthly Refugee and Migrant Forum, a regular meeting of individuals representing a range of groups, institutions, and legislators, which feeds information about the everyday situation of refugees and asylum seekers in the city back to Sheffield City Council’s Cohesion and Migration Partnership Group.