I’m Megan and I’m lucky enough to coordinate the Schools of Sanctuary Programme.
We’ve just reviewed the last school year – and WOW, it was a big one.
Over a hundred primary and secondary schools, early years settings and sixth forms were awarded as Schools of Sanctuary and nearly 300 more signed the supporting organisation pledge and took the first step on this journey.
Schools are at the heart of our communities and so the ripple effects of the award process are massive – not only do refugee children feel safe and receive the support they need to flourish, but when a school commits to being a place of welcome and understanding this also helps foster awareness, empathy and solidarity amongst all children, parents and the wider community.
Here’s just a few big wins…
- We confirmed 141 awards last year – up from 90 the previous school year.
- We are now have Local Leads in just under 50 parts of the UK – meaning more schools than ever have access to trained and supported local contacts who understand their local context and can connect them to unique local opportunities
- Our Schools of Sanctuary have been recognised nationally for the leading role they have played in welcoming children from Afghanistan and Ukraine and children in our schools have inspired others across the UK by drawing cartoons of welcome to show their own support for children seeking sanctuary.
This is the power of welcome. Read our 2022-2023 Schools of Sanctuary impact report here.
Last year our Schools of Sanctuary networks not only grew but became more inspiring than ever before – but now our longer term future hangs in the balance.
In the new year, our two biggest funding grants which cover funds for Schools of Sanctuary will come to an end.
We are a tiny team who really pack a punch. I coordinate the programme with a bit of part-time help from Leyla, our Wales Coordinator who supports schools in Wales. Our Director of Operations, Sara, has increasingly had to step-back from her involvement with schools to focus on wider organisational strategy and the Further Education Colleges of Sanctuary award which I also support.
Whilst we want to keep the Schools of Sanctuary award and all the supporting resources completely free, we need you to stand with us at this critical moment. If you recognise the power of this work please donate to help us weather this storm and plan for the future.
If you have any ideas or want to support us further during these difficult times, please reach out to our Chief Officer on [email protected].
Your support means the world to us.
Megan Greenwood, Schools of Sanctuary Coordinator