Organisations and voluntary Groups
For information about services and organisation working with those seeking sanctuary locally, see the Council webpage outlining this: https://www.livewell.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/Information/boroughofsanctuary
We recognise and promote the ongoing work of local organisations supporting refugees and other sanctuary seekers including:
CHAWREC – Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre – provides English classes. CHAWREC also runs a structured ‘Befrienders’ scheme, have a ‘drop-in’ session for Sanctuary Seekers, a craft group and legal services. (website, tel: 01244400730)
Community Crossroads Hub – New Church, Dicksons Drive in Newton, Chester, CH2 2BN has a food bank and community cafe. In association with other groups, also provide some food, personal care and hygiene products, clothing, SIM cards and household items to sanctuary seekers who are welcome in the cafe ( see places of welcome below). Website
Refugees at Home – a national charity, with local representatives, which aims to match those with a spare room in their home with sanctuary seekers looking for accommodation. The group can be contacted by those who have a room or those needing accommodation. More information on website
SHARE volunteers distribute donations of clothing, footwear and other essential items to refugee camps in host countries and also to those seeking sanctuary within the local community. (website, tel: 01352759563)
Places of Welcome
Please see relevant websites/facebook for further details regarding opening times (under ‘Organisations and Groups’)
- Chester Cathedral: visit the Cathedral Cloister Room on Mondays 10-12am to ‘chat, connect or just enjoy a coffee. All welcome’.
- Crossroads community hub, New Church, Dicksons Drive in Newton, Chester, CH2 2BN. Thursday 1-3pm, cafe and support.
- Unity Centre Community Café, 17 Cupin Street, Chester, CH1 2BN: Drinks, cakes and light bites.
- Wesley Church Centre: ‘Chester Welcomes Ukraine’ Website. Please note these meetings are now monthly, next ones planned are 10th February 2024, 9th March and 13th April. Please contact the Wesley for further dates.
English Conversation Lessons
Unity Centre, 17 Cuppin Street, Chester, CH1 2BN.
For further details see Facebook page or contact centre directly on 01244 400730
Schools of Sanctuary
There is a rich source of information for any school wishing to become a ‘School of Sanctuary’ at:
Please also feel free to contact us.
Chester University Sanctuary Award
The University of Chester offer a Sanctuary Award to applicants seeking sanctuary. Successful recipients will receive a full tuition fee waiver that is payable in each academic year of the course. In addition up to £2,500 a year is available for essential study costs. Priority is given to applicants who live within easy commuting distance of the University of Chester. Additional support is developed for each student to enable them to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on their degree programme. For further information, follow this link:
Accessing Medical Care for those Seeking Asylum
Often those seeking sanctuary in the UK may not know what medical care they can access and how the NHS works. The following is a link, taken from The Quaker Asylum Refugee Network, on how to access care. The leaflet is produced in English and some other languages.
‘Just Ask’ is a helpline and support service for the LGBTQ+ community. Anyone who would like contact is welcome at the Rainbow Tea Rooms cafe (28 Bridge Street, Chester) and community space or can contact the group via:
Email [email protected]
Call / Text / Whatsapp 07718 066684
Call 01244 257 602
Want to know more?
See our ‘Refugee Week’ news posts for lists of books and other information and also our other pages and the National City of sanctuary website.