Through working in partnership organisations, individuals, and groups which make up Wrexham Town of Sanctuary have achieved so much. Events and activities have been organised by the wide range of groups, organisations, and individuals which make up the Town of Sanctuary partnership, co-ordinated by TCC. We have tried to acknowledge where a particular organisation was largely responsible or gave a lot of time. Here is a flavour of what we’ve been up to:
Town of Sanctuary Launch (February 2019)
This event was aimed at raising awareness of the experiences of sanctuary seekers and the aims of Wrexham Town of Sanctuary with power-holders and decision-makers. The event was attended by over 100 people including the mayor of Wrexham, Ian Lucas MP, Lesley Griffiths MS, and regional Members of Senedd Michelle Brown and Mark Isherwood. The event gained good media coverage.
Refugee Week (June 2019)
This event was aimed at raising awareness of the experience of sanctuary seekers with the wider community and celebrating the talents of people seeking sanctuary. This event was attended by over 100 people, and became standing room only for those who had not booked tickets in advance. This event included campaign work for Lift the Ban.
Wrexham Town of Sanctuary has delivered 3 training courses to over 40 participants from the police, NHS, community councils, Wrexham Council, Coleg Cambria, British Red Cross, charities working with sanctuary seekers, City of Sanctuary Groups from other areas, as wells as individuals who just want to be more supportive.
Training has been delivered by 7 trainers, who are experts by experience, and the running of events was supported by around 15 Town of Sanctuary supporters from a range of organisations.
Training courses requested by local organisations, and a fourth fully booked training have unfortunately been postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown
We have found that training is a catalyst for some people to take further action. For example, one of the attendees at the November training was a community councillor, who set up a meeting with their community council and Town of Sanctuary to sign the pledge.
The Wrexham Town of Sanctuary pledge of support has been signed by:
6 public figures
Representatives from Wrexham Town of Sanctuary have been interviewed twice on Calon FM, a local radio station, about the experiences of people who are sanctuary seekers, the global picture for refugees, and the work organisations and ToS are already doing to make Wrexham more welcoming.
Training for people seeking sanctuary
Confident Speaker Training was held in October 2019, facilitated by the BME Skills Worker at AVOW and coordinated by TCC. The training was attended by 14 people. Part 2 of this course will be provided in 2020. People with lived experience who had supported ToS events and actions were also invited to TCC’s Community Organising Training in October 2019. 7 people attended, and developed their skills on running effective campaigns, by meeting with decision-makers to make systemic changes.
High Sheriff of Clwyd Community Award for Godwin Akinyele
Wrexham Town of Sanctuary Steering Group successfully nominated Godwin Akinyele for the High Sheriff of Clwyd Community Award, for his outstanding contributions to multiple volunteering roles, which help make Wrexham more welcoming for people who are seeking safety here.
5th International Conference of the ESREA Migration, Transnationalism and Racisms Network
VOICES ambassadors, Town of Sanctuary trainers and TCC submitted a proposal and were invited to present at the 5th International Conference of the ESREA Migration, Transnationalism and Racisms Network, 22 - 24 April 2020. The conference brings together researchers, activists, educators. It connects policy, education theory, and real-world action. Speakers from Wrexham Town of Sanctuary were preparing to present on the conference theme anti-racist civil society in action. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this event has been postponed indefinitely.
Supporting and contributing to the wider Sanctuary network
This has included co-ordinating good practice locally being shared in a national Libraries of Sanctuary resource pack and attending events run by other Sanctuary groups. We also join other sanctuary groups in meetings, such as the North Wales Refugee network coordinated by British Red Cross.
Celebrating becoming a Town of Sanctuary
We were delighted to have Wrexham recognised as a Town of Sanctuary in 2020. We are looking forward to celebrating becoming a Town of Sanctuary as soon as possible. We recognised that being a Town of Sanctuary involves continuous work and commitment, and look forward to this ongoing journey.
Town of Sanctuary film
We are very proud to share the story of Wrexham becoming a Town of Sanctuary. We know one short film could not possibly capture all the incredible work so many people and organisations do to make our town welcoming. So we encourage you to share the film through your social media platforms and tell the world what you do to make Wrexham a welcoming place, or why Wrexham being a welcoming places is important to you. (Film with Cymraeg subtitles here). There is also a shorter version of the film focusing on the experiences of several Town of Sanctuary trainers with English subtitles and Cymraeg subtitles.
TCC campaign work on issues affecting sanctuary seekers
Some Town of Sanctuary partners are unable to get involved in wider campaigns which challenge Government policy and advocate for national systemic change. As TCC’s work is focused around campaigning and building effective relationships with decision-makers and elected representatives, they support work around national campaigns to improve the experiences of sanctuary seekers in the UK, such as:
TCC also raise these issues and call for action in meetings with decision-makers and elected representatives across North East Wales.
Town of Sanctuary Achievements & Activities