Oxford City of Sanctuary is a Community Benefit Society dedicated to empowering migrants and refugees.
Refugees sit as equal voting members, and are owners, and can work for Oxford City of Sanctuary, just the same as anyone else.
We are currently fundraising for two major advocacy projects:
1. A Settlement Fees Grant programme, to which individuals can apply for help to pay the costs of their British passport, citizenship, naturalisation, and Settled Status applications. This is currently costing around £1800 per person. The cost to a family of four would be in the order of £7000. All refugees are welcome to apply, and in particular we will aim to promote this grant programme with displaced Chagos islanders/Diego Garcians.
The extortionately high fees now charged by the Home Office for citizenship form a barrier to any normal person settling in the UK. It is a main plank of the government's Hostile Environment policy. Please help to counter the brutal effect this policy has on ordinary families.
2. A Humanitarian Support Scheme, to provide refugees with on-line English lessons, community connections, and eventually, employment sponsorship under the new Immigration Act points-based-system.
We aim to promote this scheme in particular with Iraqi refugees in Turkey, and others displaced at UNHCR camps in the region. We will run a campaign for the UK to introduce Humanitarian visas and to admit at least as many people as indicate to UNHCR that Britain is their first choice for re-settlement. This is unlikely to be a large number, as the most popular choice of re-settlement country is the United States.
It is because the UK does not grant Humanitarian Visas to anyone while they are still abroad, that so many desperate people risk their lives trying to reach UK soil to claim refugee status.
About Oxford City of Sanctuary
We have been part of the national City of Sanctuary movement since 2008. Oxford was the first in the national City of Sanctuary network to register as a not-for-profit trading co-operative. We’re a Community Benefit Society, so membership is open to individuals, and also to corporate body members. We chose this co-operative model so that Oxford CofS can continue to act as an ‘umbrella organisation’, including as corporate body members all the other many groups & charities that do great work for asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants in Oxfordshire.
We’re registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a trading limited company (reg. no. 8136), democratically managed (one-member-one-vote) and owned by our members, who each hold a £1 share. We provide services to the community, but we are not profit-driven and not a charity relying on unpaid volunteers. We have a commitment to paying our workers Oxford Living Wage. We do not employ a CEO or any staff on more than Oxford Living Wage (currently £10.21 per hour), so no donated funds will ever go to paying out big senior management salaries.
There's more info & contact details on our website at https://oxford.cityofsanctuary.org/
You can also follow and contact us on Twitter @OxfordCoS
and on Facebook @OxfordCityofSanctuary
Thank you very much for your support.