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Welcome to the Borough of Sanctuary

I recognise that Lewisham's greatest strength is its openness and tolerance in terms of diversity. From welcoming commonwealth migrants from after the war, to welcoming refugees from war-torn countries.

Lewisham is proud of its wide range of cultural heritage and will always stand up for equality and diversity. This is why I and other councillors have been working to fulfill our aspiration of Lewisham becoming the first Borough of Sanctuary; with the principles of sanctuary embedded across the community and local area. The council are working hard to enure that the borough becomes a more open and welcoming place. As a result a new position within the council has been created with the sole purpose of interweaving the idea of sanctuary into all aspects of the council.

In addition to ensuring the principles of sanctuary, the council is also working hard to ensure sanctuary for all those fleeing persecution and conflict. This is in addition to a Refugee Resettlement Programme that was set up in 2017. We wish t expand that programme and add another 100 families from Syria and other areas of conflict. Making Lewisham the country's leading refugee resettlement local authority.

Other commitments include:

Welcoming 100 new refugee children along with supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the council’s Children’s Services.

As well as passing a Council Motion to ensure families who have no recourse to public funds but are supported financially under the Children’s Act 1989 are able to secure free school meals.