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Swansea Oxfam shop wins UK award

19th Mar 2014

Phil Evans accepts Shop of Sanctuary Award

Oxfam's shop in Castle Street, Swansea has won a national award  because of  the warm welcome it gives to refugees and asylum seekers in the city.

 The shop has been named the UK's first ever Shop of Sanctuary, the first time a shop or business has received individual recognition. The honour comes in the wake of Swansea becoming the UK's second official City of Sanctuary in May 2010, formally adopting its constitution in February 2012.

 To qualify, the shop had to show it was working to understand what it meant to be seeking sanctuary; had actively involved asylum-seekers and refugees in its organisation; and was working with other community groups to share the aims and vision of City of Sanctuary.

 Presenting the award at Swansea City of Sanctuary's  AGM, held at the YMCA  last week, 1, City of Sanctuary co-ordinator Alan Thomas said:

 "The Shop of Sanctuary award is a proud moment for our city - A first for Swansea, and a first for the UK.

 "It recognises Oxfam's outstanding work in welcoming those who seek sanctuary in our city, both in practical ways and also through supporting the work of the City of Sanctuary movement."

 Swansea is also home to one of Oxfam Cymru's four Sanctuary in Wales projects supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which supports refugees and asylum seekers to get training and work and make connections with their new communities.

 Sanctuary in Wales co-ordinator Vicky Goodban said: "Phil is a dynamic and committed shop manager, whose philosophy is played out in the warm and welcoming culture which the Castle Street shop fosters. The opportunities and community which the Swansea shop provides for people seeking safety from war or persecution, who often don't have the right to undertake paid work, affirms that they do have a part to play in society."