We currently deliver English lessons in 3 city locations. Within our refugee hub, English is the most popular activity. Our dedicated teachers run two classes, a beginners and advanced class which run at the same time. English lessons are free and all migrants are welcome.
You can read all about our work here.
Portsmouth City of Sanctuary run a number of projects in Portsmouth for asylum seekers and refugees. Our projects promote integration, reduce social isolation for migrants in the city, build skills, empower, and promote friendship, volunteering and well-being amongst migrants.
We currently run gardening projects, bicycle projects, walks, dance sessions, and football sessions in the City.
HAVEN (Female only drop in)
Portsmouth City of Sanctuary CO-Founded the first Female only drop-in service ‘HAVEN’ in Portsmouth for women who have experienced any form of gender violence. It is a safe space where women have activities ranging from knitting, sewing, baking, dance and key speakers from across the City. To access HAVEN you will need to email us at – [email protected]
Welcome Box Project
Our Welcome Box project, is a project that has been running for over a year. We provide every new asylum seeker to the city with a welcome box that contains confectionary, toiletries, an information leaflet, and a welcome card. If you would like to support our welcome box project please do get in touch! A box costs £10 to fill and it is a much needed gift for those that are seeking safety and sanctuary in our city!
Men’s Football Sessions
We are vey excited about our men’s football team who continue to grow and improve week on week. This project is run in partnership with Pompey in the community. We meet fortnightly for training. To mark this years refugee week, Pompey in the Community facilitated a football trip where Arsenal FC hosted a football tournament where the group played five other teams and came runner up.
‘Football has a universal language, many people, different languages and we all understand each other playing’ Local asylum seeker feedback.
Women’s Dance Sessions
Our women’s dance is a fantastic project and is open to all female refugee, asylum seeker or vulnerable migrant within the city. This project is in partnership with Neptune Girls and The BOX. The project runs weekly, and includes dance lessons and positive affirmations.
‘Stress free, relaxing, flexible’ Client feedback.
We love to encourage activities that promote physical and mental wellbeing. We had some tester sessions of boxing at the Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy.
Welcome Wheels Project
A bicycle can be life changing, enabling access to many spaces within the City, boosting both physical and mental health. We run our “Welcome Wheels Project” in partnership with Sustrans, Southsea Cycles, and Top Banana. The bikes are refurbished by Southsea Cycles, and we also provide a lock, lights, helmet and hi-vis as well as a short road safety session to make sure they are safe and confident to ride on the road.
Our project has continued to see asylum seekers thrive by allowing them to volunteer and access groups and clubs in the City.
‘A bicycle gives me the freedom to get up and go! I used to stay in doors, depressed and isolated, I now volunteer at the refugee hub preparing food and refreshments. I feel very happy’
Spaces of Sanctuary (SoS)
We initiated the SoS project in partnership with others in the city, to develop a network of private and public sector venues throughout the city that are trained and supported to respond to the needs of anyone seeking safety and dignified support in Portsmouth. This developed into collaborative, ongoing support for the Safer Streets programme aimed at tackling Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG).