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What are the Core principles of Ipswich Town of Sanctuary (ITS)?

ITS is part of the City of Sanctuary movement.

City of Sanctuary encourages individuals and organisations from all sectors (faith groups, voluntary, business, education, etc) to make a public commitment to welcome and include Asylum Seekers and Refugees into the life of the community.  For more information please visit: City of Sanctuary.

Is ITS a political pressure group?

City of Sanctuary seeks to influence the political debate on sanctuary indirectly through cultural change and does not directly engage in political lobbying or anti-deportation campaigns.

How can I  take part?

Ipswich Town of Sanctuary needs  support from both individuals and local organisations to help build a culture of welcome and hospitality.

To volunteer, please contact [email protected]

Is Ipswich Town of Sanctuary a Christian movement?

No. The City of Sanctuary movement is an opportunity for people from all backgrounds (religious or not) to work together to create a culture of welcome and hospitality; the Town as a whole takes ownership and pride in the status – being a place of safety.

Is Ipswich Town of Sanctuary just duplicating what organisations such as Suffolk Refugee Support and the Marginalised Adults Team provides?

No. Ipswich Town of Sanctuary liaises with the above named organisations to find out what their limitations in providing services are due to lack of resources. Ipswich Town of Sanctuary then tries to assist in areas where more support is needed.

Does this mean that Ipswich will have more Asylum Seekers? How will this impact on the community?

Unlike other destitute people, Asylum Seekers are not entitled to housing from local authorities but are given temporary housing funded by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) via housing providers who rent properties from private landlords. There are “dispersal areas” across the UK where Asylum Seekers are temporarily housed. Asylum Seekers have no choice of where they will be situated. Asylum Seekers can be moved from dispersal area to dispersal area at any time (Ipswich is a dispersal area). The idea that Asylum Seekers will gravitate to certain Towns/Cities is not possible however the idea that this “could” happen needs to be made more clear through awareness raising.

What support services are there for new and established groups?

  • The City of Sanctuary National Committee can provide public speakers who can talk about City of Sanctuary at public meetings or media interviews. For more information, please contact the National Co-ordinator.
  • National network meetings in different locations every 2-3 months where local groups can share ideas and discuss strategy; representatives from all working groups are welcome to attend.
  • The National Co-ordinator is available to offer information, advice and networking support.
  • City of Sanctuary has published a complete guide to building a local City of Sanctuary initiative –”Becoming a City of Sanctuary: a practical handbook with inspiring examples”. It includes tips on giving a City of Sanctuary talk, organising public events, and developing grassroots support, as well as case studies of successful projects around the country.