A ‘Community of Sanctuary’

caring, shelter and sanctuary for all who live in our place

We have joined the nationwide movement ‘City of Sanctuary’, which seeks to build a strong network across the land to nurture a narrative of kindness, support and hospitality towards those seeking refuge and towards all our fellow citizens.

Hastings Supports Refugees has been sending help to thousands of people seeking refuge in France and Greece since 2015,  and is both impetus for and foundation of our becoming a City of Sanctuary, standing behind our ongoing schemes to expand awareness, and support where it is needed, both at home in our town and abroad. You can like the Hastings Supports Refugees Facebook Group to keep up to date with events and activities across Hastings Community of Sanctuary.

We are building upon existing initiatives, including The Links project which has for many years been helping refugees and those applying for asylum in our town, and developing new ones.  Since Summer 2017,  Hastings & Rother Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Buddy Project has been set up,  welcoming into the community Syrian families arriving through the Syrian Resettlement Programme, and has become already a thriving and multifaceted source of strong, practical and communal support for those families. From Autumn 2017 until Summer 2018, we ran Hastings Debates, a series of public talks about ways in which we can understand people’s need for refuge, and the policies being enacted, with international speakers including war correspondents, authors, artists, film makers. We are maintaining a constant presence in our local media with comment and reportage on many topics around the issues involved and on what we are doing on the ground to tackle these; this includes keeping active contact with our Parliamentary representative. In Refugee Week in June we hold our  ‘Festival by the Lake’, attended in 2018 and 2019 by around 1000 people and a day of celebration of our town as a welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary with us. You can keep up to date with the event on the dedicated Facebook Event Page.

For all refugees who arrive here we are committed to making ours a place where they may thrive and build relationships with the local communities.

We welcome expressions of support and interest in contributing to this work.

You can join us here.

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