MP opens new refugee refuge in Sheffield

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
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A refuge for refugees will be officially opened this week.

The MP for Sheffield Central, Paul Blomfield, will open a new centre on Friday, April 20, in the heart of Sheffield.

The Sanctuary, on Chapel Walk, is being developed by City of Sanctuary Sheffield, as a place where asylum seekers and refugees can come for information and support.

City of Sanctuary Sheffield (COSS) took over the lease of the building following a public appeal that raised £70,000 to refurbish the premises and pay the first year’s rent and running costs.

It is now ready for business, offering a safe place where refugees can come for information, support and relaxation.

The Red Cross and Citizens’ Advice offer pre-booked advice appointments on certain days, and COSS and partner organisations are preparing to offer English classes, therapeutic sessions and other services.

It will also be somewhere that local people can volunteer to teach English or offer other kinds of support, and get to know more about people from other cultures.

“The Sanctuary is a great example of local people and organisations coming together to fill a need,” says COSS co-ordinator Sarah Eldridge.

“It just wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous public response to support some of the most vulnerable people in society – joint action to promote a culture of welcome.”

The opening ceremony will take place at The Sanctuary from noon on Friday, April 20.