Swansea City of Sanctuary is part of a national movement which builds a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for individuals seeking sanctuary from war and persecution.
Our vision is to be one of a network of places which are welcoming to all, which are proud to offer sanctuary and support to those fleeing violence or persecution, and which celebrate the contribution of asylum seekers and refugees to their cities and communities. Wherever people seeking sanctuary go in our city they should find people who welcome them, involve and assist them, understand why they are here, and recognise and celebrate the contribution they make.
We work with over 100 organisations, including faith groups, local businesses, schools and others, to make this vision a reality. We also have a great volunteer base, without whom we couldn’t function.
Currently our voluntary Management Committee is coordinating a variety of activities:
- ‘A Better Welcome to Swansea‘, originally funded by Big Lottery and managed in partnership with us by Swansea Council for Voluntary Service. This project builds on the mentoring scheme from the ‘Wales Cities of Sanctuary’ (WCoS) partnership project.
- Finding ways for people seeking sanctuary to meet and take part in activities alongside other locals. A new idea here is to get people in parts of Swansea with few refugees to put on welcome events. We also have small funds for helping asylum seekers with very little cash take part in community activities.
- Bringing together other groups and organisations in Swansea which work closely to provide support services for asylum seekers and refugees.
- Linking with the Sanctuary Speakers team and the Swansea Refugee and Asylum Seekers Advocacy Forum (two other important parts of the WCoS project now continuing as part of the Asylum Rights partnership coordinated by Welsh Refugee Council, funded by Welsh Government, both these parts being managed by DPIA). The new partnership also promotes similar projects in other parts of Wales; we are helping make sure they both continue working well in Swansea and sustain them into the future.
For three years to June 2018, we worked mainly through the lottery-funded, Wales Cities of Sanctuary project, managed by our partners Displaced People in Action.
You can see our SCoS Annual report 2017-18.
We generally prefer not to provide services or run projects ourselves, but rather choose to work through partnerships or by encouraging supporting organisations to take new initiatives. City of Sanctuary is much bigger than our projects or our committee:
“City of Sanctuary is what all our supporters do!”