An Introduction To… Sanctuary Hosting!

Who are Sanctuary Hosting?

Sanctuary Hosting is an organisation providing a hosting service for refugees in Reading and across Oxfordshire. SH match refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness – our “guests” – with people who have a big heart and a spare room. Since 2015, Sanctuary Hosting have provided over 30,000 nights of hosting, thanks to the generosity of people who want to help guests in a very practical, but critical, way – by providing a roof over their head.

Sanctuary Hosting are urgently seeking hosts and support workers in and around Reading. If you would be interested in hosting or volunteering with Sanctuary Hosting, email or telephone 07926 930848.

What does Sanctuary Hosting offer?


  • Online training and peer support to hosts. Sanctuary Hosting provides training (including specialist training for hosting survivors of domestic abuse as relevant) and a space for hosts to connect with other hosts if they wish to.


  • Ongoing support to hosts. Sanctuary Hosting organise regular reviews with hosts and can also provide a dedicated support worker. SH hosts have the reassurance of knowing they can ask for help or guidance at any point.


  • Flexibility around the length of hosting. Hosts do not have to commit to lengthy periods of hosting. How long you host for is up to you – sometimes it is a short period of a few days or a couple of weeks. Mostly hosting is over a period of between 2-3 months. If, at any point, hosts want to bring their arrangement to an end, guests will move on.


  • An introductory meeting between hosts and guests before any commitment to hosting is made. This gives potential hosts a chance to talk through house rules, cooking arrangements, and so forth. This gives both host and guest the chance to meet and have a period of time to reflect before the arrangement proceeds.


  • Ongoing support to guests. This takes the form of an allocated “support worker” – someone who can help with practical support (eg registering with a local GP) and act as a befriender. If a guest has no recourse to public funds, Sanctuary Hosting will provide them with a small weekly subsistence plus a bus pass, connect them with local food banks, and so forth. To be accepted on to the SH scheme, guests need to have a case worker or solicitor, so that a “move on” plan is possible.

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