We are proud and delighted that Newcastle Library has been named a Library of Sanctuary. A small celebration was held during Refugee Week on 17 June 2021 to receive the award. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle Habib Rahman presented the award to Cllr Irim Ali, Portfolio Holder for Community Services and Public Engagement, who accepted on behalf of Newcastle Libraries.
Cllr Ali said “It is almost impossible for many of us to imagine the difficulty people go through when it comes to starting a new life in a different country, leaving behind their homes in the most devastating of circumstances. That asylum seekers know Newcastle Libraries offer a safe space and the support required to settle into their new surroundings in Newcastle is a source of tremendous pride and it is an honour to accept this award during national Refugee Week. The efforts of our officers help to bring communities and cultures together in our city, they make people feel welcome and included and highlight the difficulties people go through.”
Cllr Joyce McCarty, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Inclusive Economy, said “For many years Newcastle has been recognised as a City of Sanctuary, proudly providing support and opportunities for people fleeing wars, persecution and other horrors across the world. We’re proud to be able to offer a safe place for people to start a new life, and a welcoming community that embraces them and helps people settle into their new homes. The work of Newcastle Libraries is essential to achieving this as it helps families integrate into the city, find services that can support them and makes them feel welcome in our great city. To be recognised as a Library of Sanctuary is an incredible achievement and it further highlights our city’s commitment to helping people rebuild their lives.”