South West Wales

Swansea achieves City of Sanctuary status

Refugee week in Swansea
Image caption Swansea's bid started during the city's refugee week

Swansea has become the first place in Wales to win City of Sanctuary status.

Over 100 groups have pledged to create a culture of hospitality for people fleeing violence or persecution.

The movement aims to create a network of towns and cities in the UK that are proud to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and help them fully integrate.

Swansea launched its bid two years ago and the award will be celebrated at a special event in the city's Guildhall next month.

The City of Sanctuary movement began in Sheffield - the only other city in the UK to gain the award to date.

With the support of the city council the Swansea group secured pledges from over 100 groups and organisations across the city.

The steering group has now begun working with them on a number of projects to raise awareness and improve the welcome that Swansea provides to people settling there.

This week the group travelled to Coventry to present their application to the National City of Sanctuary Network meeting.

National coordinator Craig Barnett said: "City of Sanctuary status recognises the achievement of the ordinary people of Swansea, who have made their city a place where people in need of safety can find friendship, rebuild their lives, and give something back to their new home."

The award will be handed over to representatives of Swansea at the Guildhall on 21 June.

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