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September 12th 2016

Northumberland County of Sanctuary

Welcoming refugees to Northumberland
This Autumn will see the first arrivals of Syrian refugees in Northumberland and a new organisation is being set up to welcome them to the County and to help raise awareness and resources for refugees and asylum seekers in general.
Northumberland County of Sanctuary will be part of the national network of Cities of Sanctuary which aims to ensure hospitality and welcome for those seeking refuge from war and persecution and to help people feel safe.
The inaugural meeting of Northumberland County of Sanctuary will be held on Saturday October 1st at Newbiggin by the Sea Maritime Centre at 10.30am and anyone with an interest in supporting this vital work is very welcome to attend.
The meeting will be chaired by Hilton Dawson who lives in Warkworth and is a volunteer with Newcastle -based West End Refugee Services (WERS)
Hilton says :
‘The grievous plight of Syrian families and unaccompanied children fleeing the utter devastation of their country has moved millions to offer help and support. The County of Northumberland contains some of the most caring communities in the world and it is good that even a small number of these desperately needy people will soon be amongst us.image
Newcastle upon Tyne has been a ‘City of Sanctuary’ for some time with a huge range of initiatives taking place. Although ‘Northumberland City of Sanctuary’ will be a very small organisation, over time it should be very helpful in supporting, promoting and publicising a huge number of efforts not only to help people living here but to raise funds and support for many more living in very difficult situations in various parts of the world.
My colleague Joan Tebbutt has already organised events in Morpeth which testify to the compassion and generosity of Northumbrian folk in responding to the greatest humanitarian crisis in 70 years and we warmly invite everyone along on October 1st and to get involved.
We will have some superb contributions – Sarah Smart of Newcastle City of Sanctuary, Julian Whitley of Northumberland County Council and Archdeacon Peter Robinson on behalf of the Diocese of Newcastle. However the most important element will be the goodwill, interest and engagement of the people of Northumberland on whom so much depends .
Everyone is welcome, all offers of support will be very gratefully received.’
Further information :
Hilton Dawson – 07767356867
Northumberland County of Sanctuary