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Wakefield District City of Sanctuary grew out of a national grassroots movement and, in 2020, became a C.I.O. which aims to welcome sanctuary seekers and encourage their integration into wider society, to the benefit of all.

Wakefield is the government’s main centre for initial accommodation in the north of England and asylum seekers are housed here before being dispersed to other parts of the country. They often arrive with only the clothes they stand in, so WDCoS supplies new or good quality second-hand clothing and other essential items from our clothing store at St Michael’s Church, Westgate. From here volunteers run a food store which also serves the wider population, and a small bank of computers. In partnership with St Michael’s Church, the aim is to develop this into a Welcome Centre for all seekers of sanctuary in Wakefield.

In addition, WDCoS has a well-developed, informative website and delivers online English sessions twice daily. Around the district WDCoS has initiated or supported a number of conversation cafes, social events and other activities. The charity has built up an excellent reputation and works in partnership with many other organisations.

WDCoS is now at a critical stage in its development and needs trustees of any age or background. The position requires a minimum commitment of a few hours per week for meetings and associated tasks, in Wakefield or online, with further involvement welcomed. Lived experience of the asylum system would be valuable, but also expertise in finance, bid-writing, safeguarding and law. Above all, trustees must be committed to our ethos of care, inclusivity and welcome towards people of all faiths and none.

If you are interested please apply to [email protected]