We are committed to supporting and promoting practical action to welcome people seeking sanctuary in Newcastle. In addition to general activities, we have launched organisation specific initiatives. These initiatives allow local groups to become involved with City of Sanctuary through actions tailored to their work or interests.

Schools of Sanctuary

We have adopted the Schools of Sanctuary initiative which has been developed by other cities. A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for people whose lives were in danger in their own country.

There are three simple principles to being a School of Sanctuary:
1. Learn about what it means to be seeking sanctuary
2. Take positive action to embed concepts of welcome, safety and inclusion within the school or college and the wider community
3. Share their vision and achievements

To become a School of Sanctuary schools need to evidence their work for each of the three principles. (We know that some schools have already undertaken some of these activities and we are happy to recognise and celebrate these.) Once we receive the evidence we will award the school with an official certificate confirming they are a School of Sanctuary!

We provide each school with a number of suggested actions that they could take, a list of useful contacts and support throughout the process. Ideas can also be found in past examples at https://schools.cityofsanctuary.org/.

Beech Hill Primary School, Moorside Primary School and Kenton School have all been awarded the School of Sanctuary status due to their fantastic efforts.

The following schools are currently working towards their Schools of Sanctuary qualification:

  • ESPA college
  • Kingston Park Primary School
  • Thomas Walling Primary School
  • Grange First School
  • West Jesmond Primary School

Faith Groups of Sanctuary

We are keen to work with the many faith groups within the city who provide a welcoming place to people seeking sanctuary within the city. Group are provided with a number of suggested actions that they could take, a list of useful contacts and support.

Services of Sanctuary

Our Services of Sanctuary initiative aims to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  To participate in this initiative, you can do many things, including providing awareness training to your staff, committing to challenge negative attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees, inviting someone to speak about refugee issues to your team, providing a meeting space for refugee organisations, hosting a City of Sanctuary display, or many others.

Sports of Sanctuary

Sports are an excellent arena for bringing together people from all walks of life.  Our Sports of Sanctuary initiative aims to provide a welcome space for seekers of sanctuary in this realm.  This can be done through inviting asylum seekers and refugees to join your group, opposing negative attitudes towards these individuals, donating sports equipment to

Songs of Sanctuary

We encourage music groups to partner with City of Sanctuary and exemplify support for asylum seekers and refugees in Newcastle.  This can be done in many ways, including performing a piece of music to celebrate these individuals, challenging negative attitudes towards those seeking sanctuary, inviting them to join your group, and many more.

Stories of Sanctuary

The initiative encourages members of any reading group to read one (or more) of their recommended books with a theme on refugees. The group has a reading list of the books in Newcastle reading group list including other books which explore asylum and refugee issues. Once readers have read the book they can contact Newcastle City of Sanctuary group to discuss their thoughts about the book.


If you are interested in finding out more about any of these programmes please contact us.