Have your say!

Can you help us to make good grants to support people seeking sanctuary?

Building on the success of the City of Sanctuary groups in 2019, the Welsh Government have declared that Wales would become the world’s first ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ – a plan endorsed by the United Nations.

People across Wales have been responding to the ongoing refugee crisis in towns and villages across the country, setting up schemes that offer help and support to those seeking sanctuary in Wales.

In response to the recent crises in Afghanistan and more recently Ukraine, Community Foundation Wales wanted to do more to help groups like the City of Sanctuary and other organisations working with people displaced by conflict and/or persecution who have arrived or will be arriving in Wales.

We launched our Nation of Sanctuary Croeso Fund in March, initially as a fundraising fund to raise the money needed to support these organisations. Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice at Welsh Government, very quickly recognised the immediate and escalating need and, on behalf of Welsh Government, made a gift of £1 million to the fund.

We don’t want to assume we know what is needed so, upon launching the fund, we circulated a survey to organisations working in the sector to help us understand their immediate and ongoing needs. This learning will help us to shape the grant criteria.

We would really appreciate your help in sharing this link to our survey to help us to spread the word, to encourage groups working directly with people seeking sanctuary in Wales to have their say.

We hope to open the fund next week, but the survey will remain open due to the ever-changing situation, and the criteria may change accordingly.

Grant making is neither an art or a science, no two groups work in the same way, so the grant criteria needs to reflect the varying needs of the many charities and groups of all sizes across Wales working to support people seeking sanctuary.

We intend for this fund to meet the gaps in funding, be this addressing areas that are significantly underfunded or helping to meet demand for a service that is increasing or a service that needs to be expanded. Unfortunately, we will not be able to support the needs of all groups, but by completing the survey, your voice will be heard.

The fund will support people seeking sanctuary, ensuring that when individuals and families arrive in Wales, they can get the support they need to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. This is an important definition to make, as groups looking to apply to this fund should be working with refugees and asylum seekers fleeing to Wales in search of protection. This fund is not for groups working with already established minority communities – for these groups we have another fund that is open to support these groups as they recover from the Covid pandemic.

Please get in touch if you have any knowledge or insight that you think will inform the Nation of Sanctuary Croeso Fund. If you have experience of working with people seeking sanctuary and would like to be involved, maybe to give oversight of the grant criteria or as a panel member to help us to distribute the funding, we’d love to hear from you.

You can contact me by email – andrea@communityfoundationwales.org.uk

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