The purpose of the final project is for participants to demonstrate and put into action the lessons they have learnt and skills they have developed over the course of the programme. For this reason, all projects must focus on bringing about change within the UK in the context of the lives of people seeking sanctuary. Details of the project and the impact of it will be shared in a presentation during the graduation ceremony. Participants who attend the “input” programme but do not conduct a project are considered to have ‘attended’ a Sanctuary in Politics Course but not ‘graduated’
The participant will work with their mentor in the planning and implementation of their project: during the “input” programme, participants and mentees should design a plan to have a clear idea of what they want to do and what support they may need,and ideally should have arranged the first meeting post-programme with their mentor. This plan should be shared with the course coordinator at the end of the “input” programme. After the programme, mentee and participant should remain in regular contact throughout this time (at least every two weeks).
It is expected that evidence of the final project is submitted to the course convener two weeks before the graduation ceremony, which typically takes place up to three months after the end of the programme of sessions.
Suggested projects take two forms: public speaking or taking action.
Public Speaking Project
The participant prepares a 5 minute speech to deliver to an audience (the mentor can help help find this opportunity). This speech should highlight ONE problem people seeking sanctuary experience. The participant shoul find out about the current Home Office policy and suggest what could be done to alleviate the problem.
Suggested topics: family reunion; the right to work; ending indefinite detention.
Possible audiences: a school assembly or class group (name the age group); a group of university students and lecturers; a church or other faith group; an MP; a public meeting; the media
Taking Action Projects
Possible project actions include:
- Identifying a campaign that the participant would like to support and getting involved.
- Making contact with a local City of Sanctuary group and identifying opportunities to get involved e.g. Schools of Sanctuary appraisal, awareness raising.
- Identifying a welcoming activity they would like to do in their area which is not already happening e.g. a football game between people seeking sanctuary and a local team.
- Identify opportunities for volunteering in an area of interest. Contact the local voluntary bureau who will help the participant to find an opportunity.
Final Project Examples
Sanctuary in Social Cohesion
For this project, the participant researched the importance of social cohesion and its relationship with sanctuary.
Through independent research, discussions with their mentor and other facilitators of the Sanctuary in Politics course, the participant developed an analysis of how social cohesion can be enabled through the Right to Work, education, religion and even the Home Office.
This analysis formed the backbone of their outreach to media outlets to discuss the experiences of people seeking sanctuary and sanctuary in social cohesion.
The Impact of the Sanctuary in Politics Course
For this project, the participant decided to evaluate the impact of their Sanctuary in Politics Course and its impact on the lives of those who took part in it. With support from the City of Sanctuary team, the participant shared an online survey with participants of the previous three Sanctuary in Politics courses and followed this up with interviews.
The findings of this research found that participants felt positively about their participation in the Sanctuary in Politics course and that this has provided them with a unique opportunity to get a better understanding of politics in the UK, campaigning, and advocacy in order for them to raise their own voice for people seeking sanctuary in the UK.
This report has reiterated City of Sanctuary UK’s belief in the effectiveness of the Sanctuary in Politics Course and facilitated the ongoing improvement of the course for future participants.
Welcome through Football
The participant of this project identified access to sports clubs and gyms as a challenge for people from sanctuary seeking backgrounds due to the cost and lack of access to bank accounts. In response, they decided to establish a football activity that would be accessible for and bring together both people seeking sanctuary and those who aren’t.
An overwhelmingly positive event for all involved, this project demonstrates the potential for sport to bring people together.