Childcare scheme welcoming refugee families to East London gets UK ‘sanctuary’ award

Award for council's refugee childcare holiday scheme in Stepney. Picture: Kois Miah

Award for council's refugee childcare holiday scheme in Stepney. Picture: Kois Miah - Credit: Kois Miah

A holiday childcare scheme for refugees arriving in the East End from troubled regions of the world is the first in Britain to win a Sanctuary award for its work.

Award from Sanctuary City UK for childcare holiday scheme at St Mary & St Michael’'s school promotin

Award from Sanctuary City UK for childcare holiday scheme at St Mary & St Michael’'s school promoting active young citizens "in a framework of British values", Picture: Kois Miah - Credit: Kois Miah

The award recognises “a welcoming and inclusive culture” for the Tower Hamlets Council scheme helping families fleeing violence or persecution.

“We foster an inclusive culture by introducing children to the contribution people seeking sanctuary make to our community,” the mayor John Biggs said. “The East End has a long and proud tradition of welcoming people from all over the world, especially those who have escaped war and persecution.”

The scheme had to show that it had made learning and sharing a priority, while understanding what it means to be seeking sanctuary and welcoming asylum seekers and refugees.

The council’s children and culture director James Thomas said: “It’s vital that we embed an inclusive culture. Our holiday scheme has a track record of supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.”

The award from Sanctuary City UK praised the holiday scheme held at St Mary & St Michael’s school in Stepney in the summer promoting active youngsters in “a framework that promotes British values and empathy”.