What we do


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

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, 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 sanctuaryinchichester@gmail.com 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.

Our activities are based on values of equality, openess, undertstanding, collaboration and kindness.

We are committed to welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in Chichester and the surrounding area. We talk openly about what we do as a group. We encourage discussion and debate and want to spread the word to make our city and our culture entirely welcoming and non-discriminating.

We support Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), Syrian refugees, asylum seeking families and Appeal Rights Exhausted people in Chichester and the surrounding area.

We explore how to host some young asylum-seeking people in local homes.

We organise drop-in sessions where refugees meet with local residents, build genuine friendships, practise English and share experiences in a safe and welcoming environment.

We take part in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) which welcomes and houses refugee families.

We lead a football project because so many of the young refugees in Chichester are interested in playing. We coach them, and have supported them to form a team. They call themselves the Nations United with team members from Eritrea, Sudan, Iran, Egypt and Syria. Read more.

We promote understanding about refugees and asylum-seekers through work in schools, engaging young people and their teachers.

We advocate to councillors and MPs in local and national government, as well as to the Home Office, to promote more welcoming, less hostile public policy towards refugees and asylum seekers.

We raise awareness about the issues facing refugees and asylum-seekers locally and in the UK, through working with the mainstream media and social media. We regularly give information and news to the Chichester Observer.

We fundraise for our activities.