Oxford City of Sanctuary is a not-for-profit Third Sector organisation, but we aren’t a charity. We are a co-operative, owned and run by our members, with migrants and refugees owners, managers and colleagues on an equal basis.
We do not operate under the Charity business model of competing for donations to cover staff and office costs, and paying out a small portion as grants. Our members are paid from our trading as a co-operative. Because we trade under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, and we are not a charity and so not operating under the Charity Act, we have far more independence to lobby the government and advocate for reform of law and immigration rules.
All the money we raise from our advocacy programme fundraising appeal goes to grants: 100% of donations are ring-fenced for the grants, with no donated money going to staff, office, or advertising costs.
We are currently fundraising for two major advocacy programmes:
1. A Settlement Fees Grant programme, to which individuals can apply for help to pay the costs of their British passport, citizenship, naturalisation, and Settled Status applications.
The total cost of citizen application fees is currently around £1800 per person. The cost to a family of four would be in the order of £7000. All refugees are welcome to apply, and in particular we will aim to promote this grant programme with displaced Chagos islanders/Diego Garcians.
The extortionately high fees now charged by the Home Office for citizenship form a barrier to any normal person settling in the UK. It is a main plank of the government’s Hostile Environment policy. Please help to counter the brutal effect this policy has on ordinary families.
2. A Humanitarian Support Scheme, to provide refugees with on-line English lessons, community connections, and eventually, employment sponsorship under the new Immigration Act points-based-system.
We aim to promote this scheme in particular with Iraqi refugees in Turkey, and others displaced at UNHCR camps in the region. We will run a campaign for the UK to introduce Humanitarian visas and to admit at least as many people as indicate to UNHCR that Britain is their first choice for re-settlement. This is unlikely to be a large number, as the most popular choice of re-settlement country is the United States.
It is because the UK does not grant Humanitarian Visas to anyone while they are still abroad, that so many desperate people risk their lives trying to reach UK soil to claim refugee status.
You can donate to Oxford City of Sanctuary by direct deposit to our Co-operative Bank account:
Account name: Oxford City of Sanctuary
Sort Code: 089299
Account number: 65883673
Thank you very much for your support.