On Saturday September 12th Swansea hosted a rally in conjunction with Stand Up to Racism’s National Day of Action and numerous solidarity events throughout the UK. The rally saw hundreds of passionate Swansea residents assemble to show their support for refugees arriving and already here in Swansea.
Swansea City of Sanctuary Coordinator, Richenda Leonard, stated that it is “fantastic to see such a large number of people here to support the message of refugees being welcome in the city. We look forward to working with as many of you as possible, to ensure a sustainable message of welcome in Swansea is achieved.”
Organisations working with asylum seekers and refugees in the city were in attendance and Swansea City of Sanctuary talked to many people about how they might get involved with supporting asylum seekers or refugees on a more long term basis. Swansea City of Sanctuary takes the view that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are thinking seriously about how we can harness and harvest this outpouring in the middle and long term.
This could include volunteering with us or one of our partner organisations, your organisation pledging support to Swansea City of Sanctuary, inviting one of our trained Sanctuary Speakers to deliver an awareness-raising talk to your employees, volunteers or trustees, or simply supporting and sharing our messages online.
Swansea City of Sanctuary Development Worker, Eleri Williams, addressed the crowd, explaining that Swansea has been an official City of Sanctuary for five years. She emphasised that City of Sanctuary works with individuals, through a variety of volunteer schemes, as well as in the region of 170 supporting organisations, including the local authority and health board.
As ever, we welcome the support of Swansea residents and organisations. Swansea City of Sanctuary is what our supporters do and we couldn’t do it without you all. Thank you to all who turned up, spoke to us, donated money and chanted #refugeeswelcome.