New Sheffield refugee centre offers warm welcome to those fleeing danger

A new Sheffield refugee centre opened on Friday offering “a welcome and hospitality to those fleeing persecution.”

The Sanctuary, located on Chapel Walk in the city centre, is a place where asylum seekers and refugees can go to meet-up and have a cup of tea, use the computers and WiFi, or simply sit-down and keep warm.

According to manager Jan Thompson, the Sanctuary targets newcomers to Sheffield, providing them with a place to get help and access services.

She said: “Over 10 years ago Sheffield was the very first City of Sanctuary in the country, since then we’ve had a strong tradition of building that culture of welcome.”

The centre, set up by the charity City of Sanctuary, has so far been funded by public donations. According to Miss Thompson, the centre will now be looking for funding from various organisations as well as the Big Lottery Fund, which grants National Lottery money to positive causes across the UK.

The Sanctuary is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday, while a weekly drop-in is hosted at Victoria Hall Methodist Church on Norfolk Street (at the end of Chapel Walk) every Wednesday, 1pm to 4pm, where people can seek help for any issues they might have.