Community Engagement

Community Projects, Workshops and Events

For many years Celebrating Sanctuary has been developing Community Engagement and Outreach projects alongside our World Music Programme.

Our ongoing work with refugees and asylum seekers broadens audiences and improves access and participation. We connect with people who don't normally engage with the arts outside of their own communities, or visit mainstream arts and cultural venues. We run participatory workshops and projects, offering support with transport costs to those who need it. We know through feedback, that arts engagement can alleviate tension and offer a better quality of life. By encouraging participation in creative arts activities we aim to provide an outlet for expression and the opportunity to meet and mix with different people through enjoyable and rewarding experiences.

Through our activities we aim to bring people together and offer opportunities to participate in wider society. We also take activities into Initial Accommodation hostels and work with newly arrived asylum seekers who have not yet had the opportunity to experience cultural activities within the UK.

This work addresses ongoing issues of isolation and community cohesion and is funded separately to our main programme. We regularly fundraise to develop and deliver this highly appreciated and rewarding area of work.

Examples of our Community Projects and the Benefits:

  • Groups of refugees and asylum seekers have attended CSB events at Symphony Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, MAC, Ikon, Library of Birmingham, Centrala, Ort Cafe and more. We have also taken groups on boat trips with live music and workshops. Over the years we have received very positive feedback.

“families had a fantastic time and a chance to experience something they would not usually engage with. A great benefit is that it managed to get smiles off some clients who are suffering from severe depression and gave them an opportunity to socialise......”

Events and Workshops at Initial Accommodation (IA) for Asylum Seekers

  • For many years we have been taking artists into IA Hostels to deliver performances, often by refugee artists, and workshops in drumming and creative arts. We also organised a collection of Christmas presents for children at the hostel.

“These concerts are very important as there is not much to do in the hostel. Many have been through traumatic experiences and this gives them an opportunity to take away the stress and anxiety they are under. Also a good opportunity to mix with each other.........and also enhances mental health & well-being.”

Check out some of our other projects:
Culture Connect - Community Engagement Project with Syrian Refugees

World Music Voyages on the Ikon Slowboat