Council commits to learning from City of Sanctuary network

Earlier this year, we committed to learning from the City of Sanctuary’s local authority network and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)’s Migrant Champion Network.

Published: Thursday, 11th May 2023

City of Sanctuary, migrants, Refugees Welcome

Hounslow is currently home to over 3,000 asylum seekers from 81 different nationalities. As a Council we uphold the principles of dignity and respect for all and believe in providing a compassionate welcome to asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. 

Hounslow Council has gone above and beyond to support migrants in our borough – for example by advocating for better hotel provision, seeking better communication with the Home Office and its suppliers, coordinating the response with borough schools, third sector organisations and with other local authorities. 

To understand where we can further improve our support to this vulnerable group of people, earlier this year as a Council we committed to learning from the City of Sanctuary’s local authority network and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)’s Migrant Champion Network.  

We will also continue to work with local community groups like Refugees Welcome Hounslow, health and education partners and those with lived experience, making sure that all residents are supported through voluntary and statutory services to meet their needs. This includes ensuring looked after children continue to be supported in their immigration journeys, eligible migrants are informed of their right to vote, all residents can access spaces such as libraries without barriers, and that we are promoting migrants’ access to employment - including support for CV writing, interview skills, and work experience opportunities.

Councillor Tom Bruce, Hounslow Council’s Lead Member on issues relating to asylum seekers and refugees said:

“Hounslow Council is pleased to be working with City of Sanctuary and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrant’s (JCWI) Migrant Champion Network. These important organisations work to bring local councillors together to champion the rights of migrants in their local areas and beyond.

"By collaborating in information sharing, trainings, and joint advocacy efforts, we hope to be able to better support migrant communities to be treated with dignity and respect, working with local groups like Refugees Welcome Hounslow, health, and education partners, but most importantly those with lived experience.

“This commitment reflects Hounslow’s long and proud history of welcoming people from around the world to settle, thrive and enrich our diverse and vibrant borough.”

Sian Summers-Rees, Chief Officer of City of Sanctuary UK said in response to Hounslow’s commitment:

“We all have a part to play in building a culture of welcome, inclusion and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary - and we are delighted that Hounslow Council are stepping up. We will be working with them every step of the way to achieve this vision.”

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