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Making south London a place of safety and welcome for everyone.

This is the kind of community that we are trying to build through the Borough of Sanctuary campaign.

Read our manifesto

Campaigning for sanctuary

We all deserve a safe place to live, where we can thrive and be in control of our lives. But the government is creating a hostile environment for many people living in our communities, by pursuing policies that divide and exclude people with migrant backgrounds. 

By coming together, we can make our neighbourhoods places of sanctuary, where everyone can build a life, be part of a community and get the support they need when times are tough.

Stronger together

As part of the national City of Sanctuary movement, we work to make practical changes in Lewisham and in Greenwich that will see our communities change for the better. 

As members of Citizens UK, we work closely with the South London chapter on all our campaigning work, especially on challenging the NRPF policy and healthcare charging.

We also coordinate our efforts to make Lewisham a Borough of Sanctuary through the Lewisham Migration Forum – which we chair. In Greenwich, we are part of the Greenwich Borough of Sanctuary Group. These groups are networks of organisations, charities, faith groups and neighbours which work to:

  • Campaign to make our neighbourhoods places where everyone can live a dignified life, no matter their immigration status.
  • Facilitate training for local organisations to ensure they can offer a service which is welcoming to all migrants.
  • Be inclusive by listening and engaging with people with lived experience, community organisations, statutory services, faith groups, businesses and much more.

Find out more by heading to our sanctuary websites in Lewisham and Greenwich.

2018Community groups asked Lewisham Council to resettle 100 families
2018Lewisham Council agrees to becoming a Council of Sanctuary
2019The Lewisham Migration Forum is formed
2019Lewisham Council removes embedded Home Office worker & offers free school meals for all
2020Lewisham Council agrees to stop sharing data with Home Office on rough sleepers
2020Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust launches inquiry into NHS charging
2020Greenwich Council passes motion to become Borough of Sanctuary
2021St Mary’s Primary school becomes first school of sanctuary in Lewisham
2021Greenwich Borough of Sanctuary Group is formed
2021Lewisham Council officially becomes Council of Sanctuary
202127 out of 33 GP surgeries become 'Safe Surgeries'
2021Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust accepts major changes to NHS charging
2021Lewisham and Greenwich council commit to resettling Afghan refugees
2021Greenwich Borough of Sanctuary publishes Listening Report with recommendations for the Borough of Greenwich
2022Local election campaigning saw Lewisham and Greenwich commit to building sanctuary, with a focus on improving housing.
2022Local NHS systems commit to increasing access to primary healthcare
2022Greenwich GPs all receive an open letter about 'safe surgeries' sign up through the ICB
2022Lewisham was awarded Borough of Culture, with a strong emphasis on building sanctuary.
2023Greenwich Council and 22 others write to the Home Office about poor standards in asylum accommodation
2023Greenwich Council pilots a project supporting everyone in temporary accommodation to have digital access
2023Greenwich Council becomes an awarded Council of Sanctuary
2023All Lewisham GP surgeries are registered 'Safe Surgeries'
2023NHS trusts commit to expanding their focus on access to healthcare into secondary care
2023Lewisham ensures asylum seekers in the borough are supported through funding support
2023Migration Museum becomes a Museum of Sanctuary
2023Lewisham explores free digital access in temporary accommodation

Take action

Sign the pledge to carry on making Lewisham a Borough of Sanctuary. Pledge 

Apply for a sanctuary award for your place of work, community group, or organisation. Become a place of sanctuary

Join our meetings or volunteer with us to contribute to our vision of making south London a place of sanctuary for refugees and migrants.  Get in touch.