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Portsmouth City of Sanctuary is proud to partner with the national Action Asylum initiative, which facilitates volunteering opportunities for people seeking sanctuary.

Action Asylum Portsmouth connects asylum seekers with local communities. They are offered voluntary work that can improve their neighbourhood and the environment. The project helps asylum seekers to meet friends, learn new skills, grow in confidence and alleviate their mental trauma.

Asylum seekers living in Portsmouth are able to travel more easily to their volunteer roles in the community thanks to the generous donations of bicycles by businesses, PCoS partners and residents of the City of Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth Action Asylum Project Leader is John Ashlin, who has a wealth of experience that nurtures ecology and community through empathy, creativity and artistic expression.

If you are interested in offering volunteering opportunities to people seeking sanctuary in Portsmouth, please contact John by emailing [email protected]


Action Asylum provides opportunities for asylum seekers to volunteer alongside local people in their communities. The opportunities include improving their local neighbourhood and protecting the environment. This supports people’s well-being, encourages integration and shared learning, and demonstrates the contributions asylum seekers can make to our society.


  • Provide volunteering opportunities for people seeking asylum and local people, to improve the environment through conservation and community efforts.
  • Promote integration and shared learning by connecting people seeking asylum to their local communities and so promote better mental health and well-being.
  • Improve public perception of people seeking asylum.

An example of the type of project we lead is the ‘Beach Clean-up’ which brought communities together! Local asylum seekers teamed up with local residents to clean up the shores. On this project, we partnered with The GoodGym, Southsea Beach Cafe, JetSem and First Bus.

Another example of a project was when our young asylum seekers were involved in making their own film in 48 hours for the DVMISSION film festival, where they went on to win an award!


If you are an asylum seeker in Portsmouth and would like to take part in a community project, contact John by emailing [email protected]

Follow us on Intagram @action.asylum.portsmouth


Dockyard Tours

Tours of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard enable local asylum seekers to understand the history and heritage of Portsmouth, the importance of the Dockyard and the visit gives them the chance to visit some iconic ships! Over 80 people seeking sanctuary have participated.

Project lead

John Ashlin

Action Asylum has been created by the Task Force Trust and funded by the Michael Bishop Foundation and National Lottery.