What is a City of Sanctuary?

City of Sanctuary began in October 2005 in Sheffield. In September 2007, with the support of the City Council and over 70 local community organisations, Sheffield became the UK’s first ‘City of Sanctuary’ – a city that takes pride in the welcome it offers to people in need of safety.

Since then, City of Sanctuary UK, the umbrella organisation, has supported the development of a network of villages, towns and cities working to make themselves a place of welcome to people seeking sanctuary. City of Sanctuary UK also support organisations becoming Streams of Sanctuary, Sanctuary Awards, and other activities intended to welcome people seeking sanctuary.

Reading City Of Sanctuary

In October 2014, Reading Refugee Support Group launched Reading’s bid to become a City of Sanctuary, in partnership with British Red Cross, Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE), Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), The Mustard Tree, and Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC), with the aim of making Reading more welcoming to refugees and people seeking asylum.

Reading City of Sanctuary operates as an arm of Reading Refugee Support Group, and its main focus is working with agencies, organisations and businesses to encourage the learning, embedding and sharing of sanctuary principles in their governance and operations.

Reading City of Sanctuary run popular one-to-one Befriending and Conversation Sessions. These classes are open to any refugee in Berkshire.

Contact Reading City Of Sanctuary

If your organisation would like to get involved with Reading City of Sanctuary, please get in touch:

Nick Harborne
interim manager, Reading City Of Sanctuary

For information on our befriending programme:

Hadil Tamim  hadil@rrsg.org.uk


Sanctuary Cafés

We’ve partnered with a number of cafés around Reading to become Sanctuary Cafés.

At the Sanctuary Cafes, you can buy an extra coffee on top of your order for a refugee. Refugees can then go into the coffee bank and enjoy a free hot drink or snack.

The Sanctuary Cafes are:

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