Supporting refugees &
asylum seekers locally.

People are arriving in our area in great need, having lost everything and suffered devastating trauma. We’re committed to welcoming them and helping them to survive before supporting them to integrate, heal and thrive.

What We Do


The refugee crisis is the biggest in our time since World War II. We are taking action by:

  • Supporting newly-arrived asylum seeking families to avoid destitution. We also give these often deeply traumatised families wrap-around support and, if needed, language tuition. Once they are safe and settled, we support them with social activities to improve their wellbeing, and ensure they are ready to maximise livelihood opportunities if they are granted asylum and allowed to work.
  • Supporting refugee families (who have leave to remain and the right to work) to integrate into and contribute to their new community, find work and rebuild their lives.
  • Providing social and pastoral support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
  • Supporting individual asylum seekers to avoid destitution and help prepare them for their future, whatever that may hold.

You can donate here if you wish to help. And we're always looking for more volunteers.

Are you a refugee or asylum seeker?

If you are a refugee or asylum seeker staying in the Chichester area, we would be very happy to welcome you into our community. We hold lively drop-in sessions every week, where you can come and get to know us (including refugees, asylum seekers and others from all over the world), practice your English and connect with local people. For security reasons we don’t post the time and location of our drop-ins online, but we will gladly share them with you via email.

If you are interested in coming along, please get in touch with us at or contact us on Facebook.

We really hope to meet you soon.

Sanctuary in Chichester, registered charity no. 1181855, is part of the City of Sanctuary movement.

Ukraine and Afghanistan crises

Thank you for your messages of support and donations for the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees have already been welcomed into the Chichester area, with many more awaiting visas. Our small team has worked hard to recruit and train volunteer support workers and to raise funds so that we ready to buy whatever is needed (in the right sizes etc) for refugees arriving in our area. We’re also working with our partners – Food Bank, Rotary Club, Little Bundles – to provide for new arrivals. We don’t have storage or capacity to deal with donated items, but all cash donations are very gratefully recieved. We set up a coordination group for all the charities and networks supporting Ukrainian refguees in our area to share and disseminate information. We have been holding events for Ukrianian refugees and their hosts, and dealing with a situation that is new to us; the need of support for hosts. Even successful matches can be a struggle after a few months living together in the same house. Please let us know if you are hosting refugees as soon as possible after they arrive, so that we can support you and them, and welcome everyone into our community. Here’s a welcome and info page for Ukrainians arriving in Chichester.

We continue to welcome new families from Afghanistan, who are being supported by our awesome team of dedicated volunteers, and are settling in well and making incredible progress – this is despite suffering constant, debilitating worry and grief due to loved ones left behind being targeted by the Taliban (for violence, murder and threats of murder) in lieu of the escapees. The Home Office/ MOD is not being resourced to deal with the huge demand – tens of thousands of requests – for rescuing relatives whose lives are in very real and imminent danger. We are gradually learning the stories of our new Afghan friends, and the things they have done are astoundingly brave, like leading British Army missions across minefields and serving on the frontline for decades. The first of the Afghan asylum seekers, who didn’t manage to get on a UK Government flight last August so escaped with their lives by travelling over land, have started to arrive in boats. Some are unaccompanied children. So we expect to be supporting more Afghan asylum seekers imminently…

Due to the mushrooming need in our area, we considered whether Sanctuary in Chichester should decide that we are at capacity and focus only on the refugees and asylum seekers we are already supporting. For about 2 seconds. We don’t want to withhold welcome and support from anyone, so we are trying to raise funds for more staff to work on operations, helping people into employment and coordinating, training and supporting our 150+ volunteers.


This refugee crisis is the biggest since World War II and we felt the need to take action at home…


Our Projects

Pathways to Work

Supporting refugees into work and careers: help with CVs, interview skills, getting work experience, converting qualifications and finding paid work.


Our team of befrienders and specialist English tutors provide wrap-around care for new arrivals, then support them to become independent.