Sanctuary in Chichester tops award donations

Sanctuary in Chichester’s (SiC’s) support for asylum seekers and refugees has been boosted by a whopping £2,500 from brewer Hall & Woodhouse’s Community Chest awards.

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SiC was one of 24 Sussex organisations, whittled down from 208 applications, to receive an award at a 21 September ceremony at Hall & Woodhouse’s Worlds End pub in Patching. The other recipients came from across Sussex and ranged from Long Furlong Riding for the Disabled to Crawley Museum. (Pictured receiving the award is Rebecca Zeman, SiC management committee member, with Gary Shipton, Chichester Observer editor-in-chief, one of the judges.)

SiC received the highest sum given, with other awards ranging from £300 upwards. Award applications were judged on the basis of need, organisations’ own efforts and the difference a contribution could make. In announcing SIC’s award Hall & Woodhouse chairman Mark Woodhouse praised the organisation’s “marvellous work”.

The award brings the amount raised by SiC since we launched our fundraising campaign in November 2017 to £22,600 – more than halfway towards our £40,000 target.

  • Our friendly fundraising committee is looking for new members. Please contact Rebecca on rebecca.dowman@cantab.net if you are interested.

Fundraising event

Sanctuary in Chichester is having a charity party on October 13 at the Dell Quay Sailing Club. It will run from 7pm until late and the £15 tickets will include a delicious home-cooked, two course buffet supper, a bar, music, dancing and beautiful views across the harbour (moonlight permitting!). There will be a grand raffle with prizes ranging from tickets for two to the Fontwell Park races to a place in a guided Arun River swim.

The party has replaced the barn dance that was on the same date. More details will follow but if you would like to come please mail Su Leeming on su.leeming@btinternet.com. Supporters who had bought tickets for the barn dance and would like to attend the party can use the same tickets, but please mail Su to let her know. Anyone with barn dance tickets who would prefer not to attend the party can receive a full refund by contacting sanctuaryinchichester@gmail.com.

My internship with Sanctuary in Chichester

I developed a strong interest in the refugee crisis while living in Berlin during my third year of university, and started to volunteer in the sector. When I graduated I was keen to continue volunteering, so I started searching for local opportunities – and Sanctuary in Chichester appeared straight away.

From my first meeting with Roger and a core group of volunteers, I felt an incredible sense of community, welcome and commitment to the cause. At this meeting I also met several young refugees who greeted me with beaming smiles and chatted to me as if we were lifelong friends.

After several months of volunteering, meeting new people in the community and learning about the organisation’s projects, I began interning with Sanctuary in Chichester as the Development and Communications Co-ordinator. This role spanned the whole range of SiC’s projects. While many tasks were admin and communications related, a large part of the role involved supporting the development of the language work and leading a team of “befrienders” for a newly arrived Syrian family.

Each day was different – you could find me at a drop-in session, updating social media, sending out emails and newsletters to the network, arranging and attending meetings, liaising with WSCC (West Sussex County Council) partners or visiting one of the refugee families. What I loved most was how varied the role was, and working in such a fast-growing organisation, adapting with the needs of SiC and its clients, was a very stimulating experience.

I was supported in my role by Roger Pask and Rebecca Zeman, who were committed from the start to advising and guiding my work, as well as encouraging my own personal development. It was amazing to see such incredible generosity and kindness from the many volunteers I worked with; a genuine desire and commitment to help was palpable in the community. It became clear to me that each individual has something different, yet so valuable to offer to the cause of helping refugees.

For me, the most important thing about my internship was the cause itself; the positive impact I was able to help facilitate in the lives of refugees in and around Chichester. It was incredibly humbling to work with such strong, capable and positive people who have been through unbelievable turmoil in their lives, but are determined to build a new life here.

The huge range of skills I developed during my internship with Sanctuary in Chichester will be invaluable for my future masters course and career. The generous bursary I received from SiC has allowed me to study an MSc in Global Migration at UCL, and my aim is to continue working with and for refugees long-term in the future.

Tazmin Mirza

SiC becomes a registered charity

After nearly three years of responding to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers as they arise, SiC is developing a clearer and more coherent structure to help all supporters find a direct route to opportunities actively to join in our work. Many supporters help through donations – both regular and one-off – but a good number of people who want to work to support refugees find it hard to work out how best to do this.

We expect to receive approval from the Charity Commission in the next 4 weeks for our proposed status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. On this link you will find a paper in 2 parts setting out the structure of our work. Part 1 is an executive summary equal to one side of A4. Everyone is encouraged at least to read that part. Many will then want to skip straight to the section(s) they are most interested in by going to the relevant numbered paragraph in the main part of the paper – part 2.

We are keen to engage as many people as we can in our work and there is plenty for everyone to do.

In two weeks time a circular will go out – on the web-site and by email – inviting all supporters to choose an area of work they would like to be part of.

We plan to follow this up with a launch event for SiC as a registered CIO at which we hope to get together as many of our network members as possible.

SiC is looking for an Intern!

Sanctuary in Chichester is looking for an Administration and Communications Intern for a period of 9-12 months. The ideal candidate will share our values and have strong IT and communications skills and the initiative and drive to work independently. They will play a key role in helping us co-ordinate our projects and systems as we prepare to become a registered charity. The intern will experience work in a growing refugee organisation, and they will have the opportunity to develop a huge range of skills working in a very varied and exciting role.

The role is largely home-based, although it will involve attending work-related meetings/events around West Sussex. The successful applicant will report to our Chair, Roger Pask. This will be a full-time voluntary role, with a generous compensation offer which is specified in the job description.

If you would like to see the full job description, please contact sanctuaryinchichester@gmail.com. Alternatively, if you know of anyone outside our network who might be suitable, please encourage them to get in touch.

The Great Sanctuary Cake Bake!

The Great Sanctuary Cake Bake: Can you rise to the challenge?

Looking for something to do during the interminable school holidays/balmy summer evenings? Look no further…

As if it’s not hot enough already, we’re now asking you to put your oven on! Throughout the summer, we’re asking our supporters to bake the best cakes in the world (or near enough) and sell them to help reach our fundraising goal of £40,000, to support our work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Bake with the kids, bake with friends, bake with neighbours!

And invite people to join you in a small cake sale or tea party.

Do take photographs of your cakes and event, and we’ll publish them on the website. And then send a cheque for the money you raise – no matter how small – to Sanctuary in Chichester, PO Box 794, Chichester, PO19 9UL. Please make cheques payable to Sanctuary in Chichester.

Ready, steady, bake!

Have a look at the bakes so far…

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Sanctuary in Chichester passes halfway stage in its fundraising campaign

We have raised an extraordinary £22,600 since we launched our fundraising campaign just eight months ago. This impressive sum – over 50% of our target – has come via such varied means as concerts, grant bids, donations and greeting card sales.

Our success to date has given us great confidence that we’ll reach our goal of £40,000, and so be able to sustain and expand our support for refugees and asylum seekers in West Sussex.

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We’ve got a pipeline of future events and activities lined up to support our appeal:

• Throughout August we’re asking supporters to bake and sell cakes on our behalf and to send a cheque for the proceeds – however small – to Sanctuary in Chichester, PO Box 794, Chichester, PO19 9UL.

• On Sunday 7 October, at 6pm, soprano Rebecca Grove and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Peat will sing to the accompaniment of harpist Frances Kelly, at Holy Trinity Church, Bosham.

• We are having a charity party on October 13 at the Dell Quay Sailing Club. It will run from 7pm until late and the £15 tickets will include a delicious home-cooked, two course buffet supper, a bar, music, dancing and beautiful views across the harbour (moonlight permitting!). For more info, contact su.leeming@btinternet.com.

Seeking new fundraisers

Our fundraising success is due to the generosity of our supporters and the efforts of our voluntary fundraising committee. We are looking for new recruits to attend our monthly meetings and to plan and help with events and other fundraising activities. If you are interested in joining the team, please mail us at sanctuaryinchichester@gmail.com.

Sanctuary in Chichester notelets

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We have recently had our very own notelets printed! As you can see from the images, the card features a beautiful garden scene. On the back is the City of Sanctuary branding so that anyone receiving the notelet can learn more about us.

We will be selling the notelets at our drop-in sessions and coming events, so be sure to come along if you’d like to get your hands on them…

Notelets are available in packs of five for £2.50.

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Fundraise for us for free on easyfundraising!

Sanctuary in Chichester is now a registered cause on the website “easyfundraising”, making it simple for you to fundraise for us – for free!

easyfundraising partners with a huge range of online retailers such as John Lewis, Amazon and  eBay, and these shops give a donation to a chosen cause whenever you shop with them.

To raise money for us, please click here and sign up by clicking “Join us”. Then simply visit the easyfundraising website before shopping to choose the retailer.

We would really appreciate you raising some extra funds for us in this way, so if you have the time please do sign up!

Fundraising concert success

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A Chichester concert has raised almost £800 in aid of Sanctuary in Chichester and Portsmouth’s Friends Without Borders, both of which provide support for asylum seekers and refugees.

At In Search of Sanctuary, held at St Paul’s Parish Centre on 2 June, performers used poetry readings, music and song to explore the refugee experience. The accomplished singers and pianists and a violinist, clarinettist, cellist, guitarist and fiddle player performed an eclectic range of pieces from classical and pop music, to folk and musical theatre, interspersed with poetry.

The event – which raised a grand total of £797.40 – was organised by soprano Rebecca Grove, with support from her father Chris Grove and friend, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Peat.

Rebecca Zeman, from Sanctuary in Chichester, said: “Saturday’s concert was a wonderful and moving occasion, with extraordinary performances from all those who took part.

“We would like to extend a huge thanks to Rebecca, in particular, for her hard work in organising the event, to all the performers, and to everyone who gave so generously. The money raised will be a huge help in supporting our work.”

• On 7 October, at 6pm, Rebecca and Stephanie – along with harpist Frances Kelly – will perform in another fundraiser for Sanctuary in Chichester at Holy Trinity Church, Bosham.