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City of Sanctuary

Winchester City Council is committed to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees in our district – we value the contributions that can be made by those seeking sanctuary.

As a council, we recognise the importance of reflecting the spirit of our community and the core values of openness, kindness and respect for others, and we fully support the key organisations who are working to make Winchester a place of sanctuary.

Find out more about some of the key organisations involved in City of Sanctuary:

A full list of the charities and organisations who have pledged their support to the Winchester City of Sanctuary movement can be found on the Winchester City of Sanctuary’s website.

Our support for Ukraine

As part of our commitment to the City of Sanctuary movement, we’re welcoming refugees who are seeking a safe place due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

Find out more about how we’re supporting Ukrainian Refugees.

City of Sanctuary Motion

The council’s commitment to the City of Sanctuary movement was formalised in a motion put to council on 12 January 2022, proposed by Cllr Tippett-Cooper and seconded by Cllr Todd. The motion in full is as follows:

“Winchester City Council is committed to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees to our District and including them in our activities. The people in our district have shown kindness and openness in recent months with huge support when donations for evacuees from Afghanistan were needed. We are also a district with a rich network of organisations providing support to the most vulnerable in our society. As a Council, we recognise the importance of reflecting this spirit of our community and core values of openness, kindness and respect for others. Winchester City Council also recognises asylum seekers’ and refugees’ potential contribution to our district, and also recognises that a co-ordinated and forward-looking approach is needed if the welfare of people moving into the town, and community cohesion between new and existing communities, are to be supported effectively.

To this end, we resolve to:

  • Support organisations such as the University of Winchester (which is a University of Sanctuary), the community group Winchester City of Sanctuary, the Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group, Hampshire Cultural Trust and other key charities and community groups in their work to make Winchester a place of sanctuary;
  • Welcome to Winchester district those fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries;
  • Value the contribution those seeking sanctuary can make to our District;
  • Support taking practical steps, in dialogue with the organisations above, to welcome and integrate all people into our communities, activities and culture;
  • Challenge anti-refugee and anti-migrant attitudes wherever they are found and support the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group and Winchester City of Sanctuary in the promotion of the Together With Refugees campaign calling for a fairer, kinder and more effective approach to supporting refugees in the UK;
  • Nominate a current Councillor(s) to act as a “Sanctuary Champion(s)”, who will endeavour to communicate with the organisations listed above to explore how we can develop further ideas to support asylum seekers and refugees who are resettled in our district;
  • We are willing for our organisation’s name to be added to a list of supporters of City of Sanctuary. 

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