The City of Sanctuary movement’s aim is to welcome asylum seekers and refugees. Wakefield District City of Sanctuary would like enable as many people as possible to create a welcome for the asylum seekers that are arriving at the Initial Accommodation centre, Urban House.
We would like to offer you a variety of opportunities to show hospitality and friendships to those that are seeking sanctuary.
In Wakefield we have the Initial Accommodation for Asylum Seekers in this region, Urban House. Urban House can accommodate up to 200 people at a time. The asylum seekers only stay at Urban House for up to 21 days before being dispersed across the region. During this time, though people are provided with accommodation, food, health care and essentials toiletries, they are not provided with clothes, shoes or finances. The contract from the Home Office does not include education or activities for children or facilities for learning basic English.
Urban House staff make the place as friendly and as pleasant as possible – however, they welcome community involvement – both practical and social. Because of severe space limitations much of the help that can be offered needs to happen in nearby locations.
Here are just a few ideas and opportunities:
People arriving at Urban House often have few warm clothes or serviceable winter shoes.
Could you rally friends and family to look at their wardrobes and send unwanted clothes to the City of Sanctuary? Have you ever been a knitter – could you be part of a knitting group that makes hats, scarfs and mittens? Could you collect or donate new undergarments for men, women, children or babies?
The more volunteers we have the more sessions we can run during the week.
There is a group on a Monday, drop in sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – but other groups are needed in the week. Would you like to help in a social or conversation group for women? Could you be part of a Men’s board game group? Do you enjoy meeting and talking with new people? Do you speak another language – could you socially translate conversation?
People coming to Urban House would welcome and appreciate the opportunity to share cultural music, singing and dancing.
Would your choir, folk group or band like to put on some entertainment at a weekend? As a theatrical or art group would you consider doing workshops for different age groups?
These are just a few ideas – each one can become an opportunity to extend a hand of friendship. If you would like to be involved either behind the scenes, making and collecting things, or sociably as a volunteer at Urban House, please get in touch with Wakefield District City of Sanctuary on 07800 605397 or [email protected]
‘Asylum is a human right.’