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11th November 2021

Who We Are

Refugees have always been a part of the UK, and of Birmingham. It’s who we are.

Visitors arriving in the city by coach are greeted by a sign declaring ‘A Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ (photo above by ell brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0).

Here are just a handful of the generations of refugees who have come to our city and have helped change it for the better:

In the First World War, Belgian refugees were given sanctuary at Uffculme in Moseley.

In the 1930s, Jewish children were brought to the UK via the Kindertransport. In Birmingham, teenagers were given training and apprenticeships as well as accommodation to help them build a new life, including at Fircroft College which today offers adult education.

Following the Second World War, Polish refugees came to Birmingham to escape persecution by the Soviets. Millennium House in Digbeth is now a hub of Polish culture, including a restaurant.

How can we make sure we keep welcoming future generations?

Today, Birmingham is a City of Sanctuary!

That means we have committed to be a city that:

  • Is proud to be a place of safety;
  • Includes people seeking sanctuary fully in their communities.

Local organisations, faith & community groups and individuals make a public commitment to being welcoming and inclusive. Many Birmingham schools have joined the Schools of Sanctuary network.

Would your school, workplace or place of worship like to help?  You can pledge to show a warm welcome, and get ideas and resources from Birmingham City of Sanctuary.

And feel free to pop into Peace Hub to find out more, and to make an orange heart to show your support.

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