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Volunteering keeps me going: Life of a destitute asylum seeker in Swindon

Ahmed (not his real name to protect his identity) shares his daily life experiences as a person seeking sanctuary in the UK in the current COVID-19 crisis. I arrived by aeroplane I escaped from Somalia I am a victim of Torture and Slavery. I lost my loved ones, my family members. The Al-Shabaab extremist terrorist […]

COVID-19: We Must Not Forget Asylum Seekers

By Anne East. Anne is a content writer for the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation of immigration solicitors/attorneys . Fear, anxiety, loneliness – these are just some of the emotions that many of us will be feeling at the moment. But what if that was simply the norm – our everyday existence rather than something […]

The Mental Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

By Richard Ballout. Richard is a political correspondent at the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation that provides legal aid to asylum seekers and trafficking victims in the UK and Ireland. It is well documented that mental health problems in the UK are on the rise. Recent figures show that approximately 1 in 4 people in […]

Building Inclusion Through Football: How the Beautiful Game Can Be Pivotal in the Lives of Asylum Seekers

Jack Yates is a content writer for the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation of immigration lawyers providing free advice and support to asylum seekers and victims of abuse. Asylum seekers are one of society’s most susceptible groups when it comes to mental health problems. They face trauma from the lives they have fled due to […]

Finding sanctuary in a book: a library project for refugees

By Simon Cloudesley, a Library Assistant at the Bodleian Library in Oxford What is the worth of a book? If you have been forced to leave your home in search of a safer and better life and now find yourself living indefinitely in a refugee camp, with few opportunities for mental stimulation or escape from […]

How does an asylum seeker and refugee drop-in centre support families with early years children?

Frances Brabazon has just completed her degree in Early Childhood Studies and is about to embark on  a Masters degree in Social Work.  Here she shares her research findings at the Doncaster Conversation Club drop-in.  I have volunteered at the Doncaster Conversation Club (DCC) for a number of years when I have been on holiday […]

“Bare Life”

Volunteer English teacher at the Doncaster Conversation Club, and editor of their newsletter, Paul Fitzpatrick, shares some profound thoughts about the values we place on the lives of asylum seekers. Writers about asylum sometimes make use of the ideas of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben.  He identified two different meanings of the simple word ‘life’.  […]

Child Refugees Welcome? How schools can help.

Child refugees flee war and conflict and their journey to safety can be a long and traumatic. What can we do to ensure they feel safe, welcome and included in our schools asks Nola Ellen.     Who are refugees? Where are they from? Where do they go? What kinds of experiences do refugee children have? What’s […]

About this blog

Welcome to the City of Sanctuary blog!

A peaceful and prosperous world is one in which people can feel safe and secure in their homes, with their families and in their communities.  It is a world in which they can feel confident in their country, their culture and in the family of nations and peoples on our common planet.

But when war or civil unrest ravages a community, masses of people are forcibly displaced or simply flee to protect life.  At worst, they are left with only two options: death by privation, assault or genocide, or life in exile.  One need only think of those forced to flee the violence in Syria or the thousands dying in the Mediterranean to glimpse the severity of their need. Unfortunately, conflict continues to take its toll on such persons.

This blog provide a platform to share stories in the field of human rights, refugees and migration.

Invited writers contribute to this blog. The blog is administered by our Media & Communications Officer, Forward Maisokwadzo. We welcome your contributions and if interested to submit your piece, contact Forward Maisokwadzo: [email protected]

Views expressed by contributors to the blog do not necessarily represent City of Sanctuary's views and the responsibility rests with the contributor.

We look forward to your comments!