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Who we are

Winchester City of Sanctuary is a voluntary run and led local community group. Our vision is that Winchester will be a welcoming place of sanctuary (safety and protection) for all, especially those fleeing violence and persecution. We began in 2020 and are now working with a large number of local partners committed to our values, see below.

We work with people seeking sanctuary as part of a movement of welcome across the UK.

Winchester City of Sanctuary is a network of groups, organisations and individuals with the collective aim of working towards greater inclusion and equality for people seeking sanctuary. We place emphasis on raising greater public awareness of the importance of sanctuary, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and building solidarity and support for people seeking sanctuary in Winchester District and more widely. We are a member of the Together with Refugees Coalition.

We work closely with our Local Authority, Winchester City Council, who passed a motion at the end of 2021 to commit to becoming a City of Sanctuary and Council of Sanctuary. This is a work in progress as it takes time to embed sanctuary. We welcome your support to make this commitment a reality.

We are an unincorporated association that is constituted. We are preparing to register as a CIO but we are not yet a registered charity.

Winchester City of Sanctuary and the wider City of Sanctuary UK network are committed to the following values:


We welcome and respect people from all backgrounds, place the highest value on diversity and are committed to equality.


We are committed to a culture of working collaboratively across the City of Sanctuary networks and in partnership with others.


We work with people seeking sanctuary and value and recognise the contribution of all. We aspire to ensure people seeking sanctuary are involved in all decision making at all levels and are supported to become leaders in the organisation, networks, and the wider movement.


We work with enthusiasm and positivity and are determined to surpass what has already been achieved to welcome refugees and people seeking sanctuary. We act as a catalyst for change by being open to new and innovative ideas and through sharing knowledge gained with others and working in partnership.


We aspire to high standards of honesty and behaviour, and always to act in the interests of people seeking sanctuary.

Click here to find out more about here the national City of Sanctuary movement. City of Sanctuary UK, our umbrella organisation is a registered charity ( registered charity, no. 1184613).

If you or your organisation would like to become affiliated with Winchester City of Sanctuary please email us at:  [email protected] to sign a pledge.

We are a member of the Together with Refugees coalition calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees in the UK.