Support Wrexham Town of Sanctuary
If you would like to support Wrexham Town of Sanctuary, you can:
Step 1 - Sign the Wrexham Town of Sanctuary pledge
Step 2 - Plan how to turn your pledge into practical action to support people seeking sanctuary.
Here are a few suggestions:
Display a “We welcome asylum seekers and refugees” sticker (contact TCC for stickers).
Join an organisation taking action such as us, City of Sanctuary, Together with Refugees Coalition, Lift the Ban or Families Together Coalition.
Research refugee and asylum seeker rights and raise awareness. Organise an information session for your community/class/colleagues etc.
Think about how you can make services and activities you’re involved with fully inclusive. For example, is information accessible for people whose first language isn’t English?
If you work for a large organisation find out what services are available for refugees and asylum seekers, such as translation.
Even if you don’t work directly with refugees/asylum seekers you could organise an event to celebrate diversity and sanctuary. This could be a big multicultural event or something as simple as a coffee morning with a themed reading. Write it up and share through newsletters, websites etc.
Attend Town of Sanctuary Training.
Share positive stories and messages through social media.
Are there training, volunteering or work opportunities your organisation offers accessible to everyone? (people seeking asylum are not usually permitted to work).
Help a school, faith group, library, work place etc to become places of sanctuary and gain a nationally recognised award.
Lobby decision makers on refugee and asylum seeker issues, either in writing or face to face.
Volunteer or fundraise with a refugee/asylum seeker support charity.
Organise a Sanctuary Break for people seeking sanctuary to visit a rural area.
Show patience, understanding, and welcome to people who are arriving in Wrexham.
Check out the list of organisations and public figures who’ve already signed the pledge here.
Why support Wrexham Town of Sanctuary?
Wrexham has for many years offered welcome to a small number of people whose lives are in danger in their own countries. Many people seeking sanctuary have lost their homes and families, and often endured traumatic experiences. Our town can take pride in being a safe and welcoming home for refugees who make new lives here. Wrexham has also benefited from people who have come here for safety bringing new skills and talents which contribute to the town. Being a Town of Sanctuary helps spread a culture of hospitality and support throughout the whole of Wrexham, which benefits the whole community. Working together on our commitment to being a Town of Sanctuary, also helps challenge isolation and division in our communities. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures that make Wrexham a vibrant and welcoming community.
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions, facts, figures and resources to help build understanding of why it so vital that our communities are welcoming places for people seeking safety. There are also further resources on the Town of Sanctuary Training Page.
What is an asylum seeker?
‘Asylum’ literally means sanctuary. This is why you may also hear the words 'sanctuary seeker' being used to describe someone who is seeking asylum. An asylum seeker is someone who has left their home country seeking safety and upon arrival in another country has made an application for asylum, to ask if they can stay as a refugee. In the UK asylum seekers are not allowed to work, live on £37.75 per week, and cannot choose where they live. They are sent to an asylum ‘dispersal area’ whilst the home office considers their application for asylum. In Wales asylum dispersal areas are Swansea, Newport, Cardiff, and Wrexham. People can be waiting for the Home Office to make a decision on their application for asylum for months or even years.
What is a refugee?
A refugee is someone who has left their home country, applied for asylum in another country, and has been granted refugee status in that country. This is usually because the person has fled persecution, and in accordance with the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention it is recognised it would not be safe for them to return to their home country. People may also be offered humanitarian protection if they would face certain risks, such as torture or armed conflict, if returned to their home country.
There are around 79.5 million people fleeing conflict, violence or persecution worldwide. 45.7 million of these people are internally displaced, meaning they have moved to a different part of their home country.
The majority of the world's refugees are not in the UK, or the European continent. Around 73% of people forced to leave their home country go to a neighbouring country. In 2019 the top refugee hosting countries were: Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda, Germany, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia.
Over 40% of the world's displaced people are children.
Wrexham is the smallest of four ‘dispersal areas’ in Wales, meaning at any one time around 150 people seeking asylum are living in Wrexham through this scheme. Wrexham’s overall population is over 135,000.
In 2015 Wrexham committed to welcoming refugees through the ‘Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme’. By the end of 2019 Wrexham had welcomed 18 families through this programme.
Please visit these websites for the latest facts and figures.