York is preparing to offer temporary accommodation to up to 90 asylum seekers affected by the movement restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The City of York Council is working with Mears Group, one of the UK’s leading housing and social care providers, to house asylum seekers and provide them with support. This decision highlights York’s relatively new status as a City of Sanctuary, and commitment to offering protection and help to displaced people.
York will also work alongside local health services and voluntary organisations to support the asylum seekers while they are here. Such organisations include Refugee Action York and Migration Yorkshire.
Carrie Wheater, Manager of Refugee Action York (RAY), has said to York Press: “RAY has a long history of working with asylum seekers and refugees in York and supporting them to become part of the York community. We are very pleased to be working with organisations to support these asylum seekers who have come to the UK seeking a place of safety, and we will do all that we can to support them while they are here.”
As University of York students, we are part of a city that actively welcomes and supports refugees and asylum seekers. The University is working towards the status of University of Sanctuary that many other Russell Group universities now hold.
A spokesperson for the University commented: “The University of York is founded on principles of inclusivity and opportunity for all and welcomes staff, students, and visitors from across the world. Becoming a University of Sanctuary will enable us to showcase and build on the support we offer to asylum seekers and refugees. We look forward to working together with organisations across the city to make a positive difference to those who are seeking sanctuary in the City of York and beyond.”