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Statement Regarding the Migration and Voluntary Returns Surgery at Transformation Community Resource Centre

Manchester City of Sanctuary (MCoS) and Transformation Community Resource Centre (TCRC) have worked in close partnership together over the past 3 years. It has been a fruitful, productive and beneficial partnership that has seen Manchester City of Sanctuary’s membership grow by over 100%. TCRC and their members and workers have been extremely generous and accommodating, helping facilitate events, publicity, and logistical support. We are really grateful for our years working together.

MCoS has always endeavoured to be a safe space which cultivates friendship, mutual respect and a culture of welcome in our city. Recently TCRC decided to host a bi-monthly Home Office Voluntary Returns surgery in their building in Longsight where we run monthly events and have our office. Our advisors and trustees recognise that their motive for providing this service is to benefit the migrant community by providing an option for dignified return to their countries of origin if they so wished , rather than being forcibly removed. However, our trustees and advisors felt that MCoS could not share a space with TCRC and the Home Office surgery. The experience of many of our members with the Home Office has been traumatic, and there is an understandable and often justified lack of trust with their methods and motivations. The perceived or real threat from the Home Office that our members experience would mean that MCoS would cease to feel safe and welcoming if we were to continue being hosted by TCRC. For this reason, Manchester City of Sanctuary will be seeking new premises which hopefully will be operational by the end of February 2018.

We celebrate our time with TCRC and all the benefits that our partnership has brought to our work with Sanctuary Seekers in Manchester. We will be having a celebration event on Sunday, 28th January, at TCRC (Longsight, M13 0LN) and all are welcome to come and celebrate with us and share food, fun and friendship.

If you have any questions, or should know of an appropriate venue with a large events space and an office, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [email protected]

With gratitude and hope,

The Trustees and Advisors of Manchester City of Sanctuary