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What does it mean to be a ‘Stream of Sanctuary’?

A Stream of Sanctuary encourages professionals or practitioners within ‘communities of practices or interests’ to come together to embed the concepts of welcome, safety and inclusion within their professions, sectors and organisations, together with other interested individuals (including people seeking sanctuary), groups and organisations.

Any individual or organisation working within a Stream of Sanctuary must be committed to the vision and values of City of Sanctuary. The development of new activities, projects and initiatives within a Stream must be aligned with City of Sanctuary network principles. A Stream will also enable the sharing of best practice, resources and ideas. Organisations that fall within a Stream of Sanctuary may wish to apply for a Sanctuary Award following specific criteria which have been developed by City of Sanctuary UK.

Anywhere can become a Stream of Sanctuary including, theatres, schools, libraries, museums, businesses and many more.

Applying for the award

Step 1 - Contact your local group ([email protected]) to pledge support and connect with their/your shared vision

Step 2 – Pledge your organisation to work towards a culture of welcome by signing up to the CoS Charter and to the national newsletter

Step 3 - Produce a plan (with support of local group) using the process of LEARN, EMBED, SHARE
Include how you plan to incorporate the CoS network principles (where applicable) within the organisation and what can be appropriately embedded within your context.

1) Learn: Find out what it means to be seeking sanctuary; and be actively involved in awareness raising.

2) Embed: Take positive action to make welcome and inclusion part of the values of your organisation or community, to support sanctuary seekers and refugees, and to include them in your activities.

3) Share: Your vision and achievements: let others know about the positive contribution refugees make to our society and the benefits of a welcoming culture to everyone.

Step 4 - Submit a written application for an award using either the generic Awards Application template or one of the specific templates available.

Here is some guidance on what your written application needs to include:

  • The written application needs to provide evidence which demonstrates how your organisation has used the three step process of learn, embed and share and how through following the process the values and principles in the charter are being upheld.
  • Evidence can be collected in a variety of ways and can include self-evaluation, photos and testimony, strategic plans, training records, policies and procedures and through consulting with sanctuary seekers.
  • Applications should be no longer than 4 pages, including supporting evidence. Only photos or organisational documents can be submitted in addition to these 4 pages.
  • Please be aware that City of Sanctuary may use any information you supply to share best practice or for publicity / presentations. If you include quotes / photographs, please confirm that this is acceptable to persons concerned (we’ll check with you if photo permissions are not made clear).

Step 5 - The nomination will be appraised by a Sanctuary Recognition panel which will normally include as a minimum, a local member of City of Sanctuary, an asylum seeker and an expert in the field. The panel may request a visit to the nominated organisation during the appraisal, and will usually involve a conversation between key members of staff, users of the organisation and the panel.

Step 6 - Once the award is agreed, plans to be made for its presentation to include a celebratory event/ media statements etc. you are making a public declaration of support for sanctuary seekers and City of Sanctuary. Your organisation can either accept the CoS award certificate templates or design their own and use the CoS logo.

Step 7 –The conversations begun during appraisal will continue between the local group and the organisation and inform a review at least every three years, when an updated certificate of recognition can be issued.


Please note: we are here to support you throughout this process, and encourage you to ask for our guidance at any point.