On 2 February 2021, City of Sanctuary hosted an online launch event for the new College of Sanctuary Resource pack which outlines the process of becoming recognised with a sanctuary award and includes a wealth of powerful case studies from campuses across the UK. Around 55 attendees participated in the Zoom event; the programme included speakers from partner organisations, FE Colleges and students with lived experience.
Sara Trewhitt of CoS UK opened the event with a welcome and short overview of CoS UK & sanctuary awards ; her presentation is available: CoS UK Colleges Presentation Feb 2021. Marguerite Hogg from the Association of Colleges shared reflections on how the Association and she have been working to expand inclusion on campuses and detailed her contributions to the streams development. Paul Vincent from Gower College Swansea outlined what that FE College has done to better support people seeking sanctuary access education; his presentation is available: Schools of Sanctuary presentation. Finally, Abdulraham Sanhat, a former FE College student who is current at University reflected on the challenges he faced in accessing education, and why it is so important for educational institutions to foster supportive, welcoming environments on campus.
In the lively plenary discussion which followed the programme of speakers, attendees discussed financial barriers to education, and shared ideas and examples of best practice from their Colleges. Refugee Support Network shared their resources on supporting access to education.
Sara Trewhitt described plans for the next steps of the stream including the formation of a steering committee, and further online events.