Newcastle a 'City of Sanctuary'

Asylum seekers receive help and support at the West End Refugee Service Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Newcastle is set to be named a City of Sanctuary this week. City of Sanctuary is a movement which aims to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. The goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the country which are proud to be places of safety.

Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007, Swansea followed in 2010, now Newcastle is set to become the third City to officially adopt the title. Community groups and support services approached Newcastle City Council last year about becoming a City of Sanctuary.

Deputy Council Leader, Joyce McCarthy, will ask the council's cabinet to approve City of Sanctuary status on Wednesday. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

After a year of hard work community groups and support services feel the level of service offered to asylum seekers in Newcastle is of a standard expected of a City of Sanctuary. The council's cabinet will be asked to approve the status on Wednesday.

By approving the status the council will be promising to support and help community and voluntary organisations and recognising the positive contribution migrants make to life in Newcastle.

Musa Hassan Ali is now a support worker for refugees and asylum seekers in Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Musa Hassan Ali came to Newcastle as an asylum seeker from Rwanda 11 years ago. He intended to move on but found the welcome in Newcastle so supportive he made the city his home. He says it is the only place he's truly felt safe in his life.