Becoming a University of Sanctuary

Action for Refugees is pleased to announce an event for the Edge Hill community to find out more about becoming a ‘University of Sanctuary’.

From the University of Sanctuary website:

Around the world, more people than ever in history are being forced to flee conflict and persecution to find safety and sanctuary elsewhere.

Higher Education Institutions in the UK have a proud and radical tradition of providing sanctuary for academics and young people and many are actively looking for ways to build on this tradition in today’s political and social context. City of Sanctuary has partnered with Article 26, Student Action for Refugees and others to develop a network to inspire and support universities to develop a culture and a practice of welcome within their own institutions, in their wider communities, and across the Higher Education sector in the UK. 

University of Sanctuary status has been awarded to 12 universities in the UK (at the time of writing) who have met the standards set by the Sanctuary scheme. So far in the North West, Manchester University is the only recognised member of the scheme.

With the support of the Dean of Education, Dr Jane Moore, Edge Hill will host the NW University of Sanctuary representative on the 23rd January at an open event to find out more about getting involved. Everyone is welcome – students and staff are essential for a successful application. We know that excellent work is going on around campus, from the international team offering fee waivers, to supervisors working with prospective students from the refugee community. Our initial teacher education programmes now include refugee awareness, and Global Unity (the student society) was recognised with a Chancellor’s Scholarship for their work. University of Sanctuary status offers an opportunity to bring all of this work together and improve awareness.

We hope to see you on the 23rd!

Updated 20th December to correct contact email on flyer.

Challenging Immigration Detention

What can be done? Friday 15th November 2019

Taking place at 1pm in CE.225 (second floor, Creative Edge)

The session, led by grass roots organisations working with and for people who have experienced immigration detention in the UK, will include presentations from:
a) Dr Vicky Canning from the University of Bristol;
b) Samuel Farmery and other members of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid;
c) Lauren Cape-Davenhill from Right to Remain / These Walls Must Fall.


The session will include the screening of a short film by These Walls Must Fall, as well as readings from ‘Strategies for Survival, Recipes for Resistance’. This will be followed by an activist session during which attendees will be able to plan any actions they could be involved in to challenge immigration detention and support those who have direct experience of it in the North West.

Further details of the session (or letting Migration NW know that you would like to attend) can be obtained by emailing Agnieszka Martynowicz @ martynoa@edgehill.ac.uk.

Sharing Sustainability event 7th November

Action for Refugees was delighted to attend the Sustainability event supported by the Institute for Social Responsibility on Wednesday in Church House, Ormskirk. We joined with friends from the SDG network to share our work.

Over 20 groups were represented including the local food bank and the Liverpool World Centre, as well as academics from Edge Hill working on research linked to sustainability. It was great to meet groups working on these important issues and develop our local networks.

Why not volunteer?

Volunteer ESOL 1-1: Help with English is just one way to get involved

Do you have skills in ESOL or would you like to develop your understanding of ‘the refugee crisis’ beyond the tabloid headlines?

‘Skem International’ a group of refugees and community members from Skelmersdale, run two weekly events which are looking for more volunteers.

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New Arabic resources for the Primary classroom

Action for Refugees is delighted to present the second booklet in a series produced by students, working in partnership to develop resources for the primary classroom.

These booklets are developed by primary trainees to enable simple bilingual activities in the classroom, from labelling key parts of the room to basic greetings to welcome a learner.

Pictured here is the development team, including Mohammmed K who volunteered with the Edge Hill team on the project. Action for Refugees are very grateful for his time sharing his language skills.

These resources are available to download via the university’s online storage system ‘eshare’, and are open access to all. You can also access the first booklet in the series.

Arabic: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/15300/

Farsi: http://eshare.edgehill.ac.uk/15301/

For more information please contact
Martin Ford
Subject lead ‐ Academic and Professional Development (APD)
fordm@edgehill.ac.uk

Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp – Free showing @edgehill

Thursday 14 November, 6pm

Edge Hill Lecturer, Yiannis Koufonikos’ new film, ‘Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp’ is the exciting outcome of a collaborative project with Coventry University, bringing together residents of the camp and the local community to share their stories.

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Universities of Sanctuary Conference

The Sanctuary University scheme is relatively new, but is growing rapidly, with universities across the country, from Winchester in the south to Edinburgh in the north enjoying Sanctuary University status. The scheme aims:

‘to inspire and support universities to develop a culture and a practice of welcome within their own institutions, in their wider communities, and across the Higher Education sector in the UK’.

I attended the Sanctuary Universities Conference hosted by York St John last week.

The conference programme was an exciting mix of practitioner experience, research and students sharing their work and experiences. It was really moving to hear from students about the impact the Sanctuary awards had had on their lives, and great to see their talent and hard work on display as student members of the steering group co-chaired the event. Representatives of NGOs such as RefuAid and CARA shared their work on supporting refugee access to Higher Education.

Unfortunately Edge Hill is not a member of this supportive network, but all universities can access their resources, and the network continues to welcome new members.

Blurring the boundaries of identity: Activities Day May 2019

Jack Sugden writes:

On the day that the UK went to the polls in the European elections, the Action for Refuges network (AFR), in partnership with West Lancs CVS, hosted an activities day to welcome old and new refugees resettled in the surrounding areas. A set of friendly football matches were played on the 11-a-side pitch while off field visiting Phd student Matilda Lindburg from Malmo, Sweden, ran a circus skills workshop for those less inclined to 11-a-side.

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