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Celebrating the first Club of Sanctuary award in Derby!

Hand knitted baby items specially made for Derby Refugee Advice Centre by Tuesday club


At an inspiring evening on May 22nd 2018, the Mickleover Tuesday Club was presented with a Sanctuary Award to celebrate their ongoing commitment to welcoming and supporting refugees and those seeking sanctuary. The Club, which is for friends with additional needs and volunteer helpers, meets fortnightly on Tuesdays for fellowship and support. Members of the Derby City of Sanctuary network have been privileged to share with the club over several years. They are the first such group to be given a Club of Sanctuary award in the UK! And what great work they have done!
After learning about the asylum system through hearing first hand accounts of those who have sought sanctuary in the UK themselves, articles have been written and shared in the SPANNED magazine – “Supporting People with Additional Needs in the Nottingham/Derby Diocese”. The club recently held a fashion show followed by a clothing collection for Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity and the Derby Refugee Advice Centre and regularly collect toiletries for Derby Refugee Advice Centre. To raise awareness, the experiences of the effects of the asylum system on individual sanctuary seekers have been included in a number of dramas and musicals written and performed by the club. One of the highlights was the musical “Balm of Mercy”, written and directed by Father Frank Daly, which they performed on tour with other similar clubs from the East Midlands including at Nottingham’s Albert Hall in 2017, some of the proceeds going to the Derby Refugee Advice Centre. The club is really “learning, embedding and sharing” sanctuary values and thoroughly deserves this award!

We had a great evening of celebration together that included Father Frank and the club singing a song to us from “the Balm of Mercy” – “Safety and Sanctuary”. Thank you Mickleover Tuesday Club and many congratulations on the award!!

Safety and Sanctuary – from “Balm of Mercy” by Fr Frank Daly 2017

Safety and sanctuary, that’s all I ask for me,
Safe from the killing, the cruelty and pain.
One opportunity, that’s all it takes for me
To rebuild my life, to recover, regain,
All the dignity that I’ve lost, and no matter what the cost,
I’ll work to repay the debt that I owe.

Murdered in front of me, half of my family,
Starved out of home we were forced to take leave,
And to run for our lives, and somewhere to arrive,
Recounting a story no one would believe.

Parents and teachers and doctors and lawyers,
People of standing, what we used to be.
Now we are nobodies, thousands of refugees,
Talked of as ‘migrants’, as if we’re diseased.
But we’re people not number still,
Desperate, searching someone who will
Treat us with mercy and give us a home.

Half a million of us now are dead, victims of hate that’s spread,
And thousands more battered, besieged and displaced.
Then such a journey, agony, misery,
Shipwrecked and capsized and desperate for space,
And drowned on a beach with no help within reach,
Or fenced in and praying for a home of our own.

Safety and sanctuary, that’s all I want for me,
Safe from the killing and cruelty and pain,
For we’re people, not numbers still,
Desperate, searching someone who will
Treat us with mercy and give us a home.

(tune “Close every door to me” from “Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” )