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The York City of Sanctuary became officially recognised as part of the National group of Cities of Sanctuary on 1st October 2016.   Thank you all for your support over the years.

York – has a long history of providing help

In the late 1930’s the York Refugee Committee found work, housing, and school places for dozens of Jewish families fleeing persecution in Europe.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, a small number of Asian families expelled from Kenya and Uganda found refuge in York. Many now play a significant part in the local business and commercial world.

In the 1990’s, York provided accommodation for refugees from the atrocities unfolding in Bosnia and the surrounding Balkan States.

Why a City of Sanctuary in York?

We want to celebrate the contribution of the many people from across the world that bring their skills, cultures, and experiences to enrich our city. Some have come here to escape danger or threats to their lives. They offer their work to assist the building of our local economy.

Many who make the journey here feel isolated and fearful on their arrival in York. We want to spread the culture of hospitality and support throughout the whole of the city, so that welcome and support can more easily be found.

Here are the steps to take to help us towards York being recognized as a City of Sanctuary.

Step 1. Use the Pledge leaflet to sign up as an individual. Do please take a Pledge leaflet to any
local community group to which you belong and invite them to consider signing up.

Please Note: When responding on behalf of a Community or voluntary group, school, or Faith group, seek a resolution of support from the organizing committee, executive council, or governing body. When signing the form, do write in your position within the organization.

Step 2. Look at the list of possible actions which you can offer as practical assistance. One or two simple actions can make a real difference.
There are some ideas in this leaflet; you will find many more suggestions on the website:

Step 3. Return your Pledge to the address shown on the leaflet. We are waiting to hear from you. We are looking for hundreds of individual replies, and at least 30 community groups signed up by December 2011.

Here are a few examples of practical action

Raising Awareness

  • Invite speakers to your group to share experiences of those who seek sanctuary
  • As an organization, sign the resolution of support publicly, and inform the media of your action

Bringing people together

  • If you plan a social or cultural event, invite involvement from those seeking sanctuary, where local people can meet and interact.

Support and encouragement

  • Many groups supporting vulnerable people needing sanctuary in York have lost valuable funds in the recent cuts. Fundraising would be a life line for many.

To declare your support, please download the form below, print it off, fill it in and send it to the co-ordinator.