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Winchester City of Sanctuary projects

What are we doing locally in Winchester to support those seeking sanctuary? Here is just a few of the things underway locally.ย 

We have identified a number of needs locally that we are working to meet for those seeking sanctuary and we anticipate there will be every increasing need in light of recent and unfolding events in Ukraine, so we welcome your support in making Winchester a welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary. Refugees are people just like you and me and deserve to be treated with compassion, respect and with dignity. If you would like to support us please get in touch.

We have been trained by Citizens Advice Winchester District to make referrals into their Advice First Aid Partnership. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a referral.ย 

We support ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes run locally at the University of Winchester and a local Community Centre. We are seeking funding to support ESOL provision locally. Please get in touch if you would like to access ESOL classes or if you can support any fundraising efforts.

We are working with Hampshire Cultural Trust to explore libraries of sanctuary. Recently, we were invited to the Arc opening, as local community representatives, to meet HRH The Prince of Wales and to talk about the importance of sanctuary. Sanctuary goes to the heart of The Arc Winchester, which is a safe and neutral space for people, a place of sanctuary.

We are also working closely with Winchester City Council to explore how to make Winchester a city of sanctuary and to discuss how they can be a council of sanctuary helping to embed sanctuary at the heart of local authorities. The first step Winchester City Council recently took was to pass a motion making a commitment towards being a place of sanctuary. They continue to support us in standing Together with Refugees, joining us in leading on recent lantern parades, at vigils and in advocacy to try and stop the anti-refugee Nationality and Border Bill. They are key partners in our efforts locally and we welcome their support. Councils can lead by example in sending a strong message to others about the importance of sanctuary.

We are working with PlaytotheCrowdย on several projects, including Hat Fair, a Jubilee project and on a carnival workshop working closely with those in our community seeking sanctuary. Please join in. If you are interested in joining the Hat Fair Carnival Decoration Workshop or the Hat Fair Carnival puppet workshop then please contact Engagement Producer, Hannah Jones: [email protected]

We are working on a community Music Project around the theme of sanctuary in collaboration with the University of Winchester, Hampshire Music Service, the Cathedral, and local and regional partners.

We are working on developing schools of sanctuary in Winchester. If you are a local primary or secondary school and would be interested in finding out more about being a school of sanctuary, then please get in touch.

We are working closely with the University of Winchester which is a University of Sanctuary and several other partners locally and regionally, like SWVG, Rural Refugees Network and Southampton Standuptoracism, to try and ensure that refugees are treated with compassion, respect, and dignity and to show our solidarity in standing Together with Refugees. We will share more details shortly about the work that Winchester University of Sanctuary and our local Student Action for Refugees (STAR) group locally are doing. You can follow the University of Winchester STAR group on their instagram feed for updates about local activities and events

We are working with local businesses encouraging them to get behind the global #CookForUkraine initiative. Please see our dropdown menu for news and more details about how to get involved. We have lots of local businesses involved already.

We are a member of the Together with Refugees coalition, advocating for a more compassionate approach to refuges. See