A series of measures to help refugees and asylum seekers feel safe and supported in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have been backed by key decision-makers in the city and county.
Representatives of the city and county councils and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire gave commitments to work with each other and Nottingham Citizens to enhance the welcome and re-settlement support received by people seeking sanctuary here.
It follows the launch of a report of an Independent Sanctuary Commission, established by Nottingham Citizens, which made a number of recommendations for local and national action aimed at delivering more coordinated and effective support for refugees, helping to improve their experience.
The report - unveiled before around 400 representatives of Nottingham Citizens’ constituent groups at Nottingham Trent University on 21 February 2017 - is the culmination of a major piece of research into the experiences and views of the refugee community in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The research included public hearings, submissions from expert bodies and interested parties and a survey of more than 250 refugees and asylum seekers directly.
Among the commitments made by local public authorities as a result of the sanctuary commission’s work are:
- To work with Nottingham Citizens to establish a coordinated approach to sanctuary
- To join a working group to look at implementing the report’s recommendations and agreeing standards for refugee and asylum seeker support locally
- To link with a Sanctuary Network in which key civil society and community leaders will identify and offer strategic capacity and support
As part of the launch event for the report, representatives of Nottingham Citizens’ constituent groups also pledged offers of practical support for promoting sanctuary, from providing rooms for English Language classes to raising awareness of the status of refugees and asylum seekers respectively.