Discovering West Sussex with young asylum seekers

Over the summer, Sanctuary in Chichester has enjoyed some brilliant days out with the young asylum seekers we support. Here’s what we’ve been up to during the past couple of months…

Rain didn’t stop play

At the end of July we had a wonderful afternoon at West Wittering beach. We enjoyed a picnic on the sand before a game of French cricket and some water fights! In typical British style it wasn’t the sunniest of days, but rain and wind just added to the fun.

In August we decided to pay a visit to Arundel, as the youngsters had seen the Norman keep from the train. After a wander round the town, we walked through the castle gates straight into medieval England. We first learnt about the keep, the oldest part of the castle, before exploring the grand interiors and gardens. Of course we made sure to visit the beautiful Cathedral before heading back. All in all a fantastic day out with lots of learning and new discoveries!

Nature walks

Many of the young asylum seekers are keen walkers, so on a sunny Friday we put on our walking boots and made our way from Chichester to Lavant. Luckily the weather was kind to us throughout the afternoon, and we had a great time exploring the local area and learning the names of different plants and birds.

Our next trip was to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton – and we were lucky enough to be given free tickets, courtesy of the Museum’s CEO, Martin Purslow. It was fascinating to find out about old buildings from the local area as well as trades and handicrafts. The youngsters especially enjoyed the fire-making demonstration and feeding the ducks by the lake.

Festival fun

The August Bank Holiday was the grand finale of our summer trips – and what a great way to finish with the hottest late-August Bank Holiday on record! We took the bus to Midhurst to spend the day at the MADhurst festival, and enjoyed great music, food and market stalls. We even tried our hand at some juggling and plate spinning and may well have some future experts in our group!

The summer trips were a great success, and allowed the youngsters to discover their local surroundings while learning more about English history and culture and practising the language. We’re so glad to have been able to take them on such valuable days out, and would like to thank all our donors for making events like this possible.

We hope you’ve had a great summer too, and we’ll be in touch soon for another update.

Tazmin Mirza at Sanctuary in Chichester

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