This event has already taken place, and is shown here for information only.
We are holding an information session about Swansea City of Sanctuary (SCoS) from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 on the morning of Friday 18 November at St Mary’s Church in the City Centre, SA1 3LP. Some of the committee will then stay on until 13.30 for any one-to-one conversations people may want either as a follow-up or if there is anyone who is only free at lunchtime.
The session will be aimed mainly at people considering volunteering with us or becoming a Committee Member, but open to anyone who just wants to find out more about us. We will give some background information, including a summary of what we have been doing and hope to do. There will be a chance to meet some of our existing Committee Members, to have some discussion about the future role of SCoS within the changing local and national political context, and to ask questions about particular roles you may be interested in.
As you may know already, we have a vision for Swansea to be a place where people seeking sanctuary will find welcome, understanding and support wherever they go. We also celebrate the contribution asylum seekers and refugees bring, and work to ensure their voices are heard. We communicate and share as widely as possible, to help build up a positive narrative about sanctuary across Wales and the UK. We have been quite successful in promoting the idea of Swansea a City of Sanctuary through our 10th Anniversary celebrations in 2020-21, and are now planning how to build on that into the future.
As you can see, our aims are wide-ranging and what we do is very open-ended. Fortunately, we can build on the great work done in directly supporting asylum seekers and refugees by a whole range of groups and organisations in Swansea, including UiD, SASS, ACC, EYST and the Better Welcome to Swansea project at SCVS, along with many others – all of which are Members or Supporting Organisations of SCoS. At the same time, while being based on a very big idea, Swansea City of Sanctuary as an organisation is very small and almost entirely voluntary. We are always seeking to renew ourselves, as committed individual members move on. We try to ensure an even mix on our committee between asylum seekers and refugees and others, but asylum seekers are likely to be moved on, while many of us can become burnt out or gain other pressing responsibilities. While we do have ongoing priorities where we need more people to join those of us who are continuing, we also like to prioritise those areas of activity which correspond to the passions and skills of our active volunteers and Committee Members. We have begun working through semi-autonomous subgroups – e.g. on schools, arts, parks and gardens, refugee employment – but which and how many of these we can realistically concentrate on depends on what people want to give energy to. See draft: Priority Areas 2023-24.
So, in terms of what we are looking for from anyone who decides to join, there are two general areas.
- First, we always need to strengthen our committee so as to share responsibilities and leadership, including secretarial and treasurer duties, managing and raising funds, chairing and facilitating internal meetings and public events, event organising and coordination, and communications especially social media.
- And, in addition, we are looking for people with particular enthusiasms who would like to join – or lead – one or other of our subgroups.
You may also like to note that we will be holding a Networking Meeting on the Future of Sanctuary in Swansea, including our AGM and Sanctuary Awards, where we will be electing new members to our committee, on Thursday 8 Dec, 6.00-9.00 p.m. at Volcano, 27 – 29 High Street Swansea SA1 1LG. Look out for updates on this page regarding programme and further details.
We hope you can join us on the 18th. If anyone cannot make it but is interested, please get in touch – we can arrange another time for them to talk with one or a small group of us.