OPINION: What’s in a name?

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Sheffield is proud to be called a City of Sanctuary.

As the EDL take to the streets preying on fear and suspicion to whip up their particular brand of hatred, the city quietly, without fuss or fanfare, goes about the business of living up to its proud title.

Organisations like Voluntary Action Sheffield and its New Begininnings project are presenting the welcoming face of Sheffield as they help newcomers settle into a strange city and culture.

Sheffielders take pride in being a friendly, neighbourly, decent bunch of people, willing to help out and do a good turn.

We’re happy to extend those courtesies to those seeking safety and security.

It was right that we became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary seven years ago.

As the economy stumbles and the volume of the political rhetoric is turned up as a General Election approaches, those intent on whipping up division in our communities can often be heard shouting loudest.

Don’t listen.

Instead be proud of the title we have earned. Protect our reputation. Offer the hand of friendship to those in need and support efforts to integrate others into our city.

It’s the right thing to do.