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Harrogate and Knaresborough District of Sanctuary was formed in November 2016 shortly after the arrival of the first families of Syrian refugees on the official  UK Resettlement Scheme.  Then, from 2021   our families from Afghanistan started to arrive. We will soon welcome  to our district our 30th such family from war-torn countries.

Since early 2022 we have also been part of the local response to the Ukrainian crisis, providing support to over 350 refugees living in our community.

Our vision is of a community open and supportive of refugees and asylum seekers, where they are able to integrate and be successful.


We work in the following ways:

  • We help refugees and asylum seekers who come to live in the Harrogate district by offering friendship and practical support, in partnership with other charitable, faith, voluntary and community services.
  • We offer social activities that bring the families together to gain mutual support and confidence.
  • We provide opportunities for language acquisition to assist in the pursuit of fulfilment and success and to promote social inclusion.
  • We celebrate the achievements of refugees in our community.
  • We seek to raise awareness locally of the needs and challenges of being a refugee so as to counter prejudicial attitudes and seek support.
  • We campaign to influence political and other leaders to ensure humane and compassionate action in the national sphere.

Contact us: [email protected]

What you can do to help: we are all volunteers and always welcome more help and support. These are some of the things you can do

  • Become a volunteer with us
  • Include information about Harrogate District of Sanctuary on your website and/or other materials; display a flyer about meetings etc
  • Be committed to challenge negative attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees
  • Invite someone to speak about Harrogate District of Sanctuary, and the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers, to your group
  • Providing a meeting space for activities
  • Offer volunteering opportunities so that people can practise their English and improve their chance of employment
  • Explore ways of giving financial support.

We are very pleased to have the support of Harrogate Borough Council