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East Kent includes Dover & Folkestone, major points of entry for asylum seekers arriving in the UK. East Kent also sits just 20 miles from Calais and people in the local area directly see the consequences of migrants and asylum seekers who are trying to cross to the UK via dangerous routes.

Despite this there are relatively small communities of refugees and asylum seekers living in the area. There are a large number of asylum seeking young people who have arrived in the UK under 18 living in Kent. A number of local organisations work to support these young people in our area most notably Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) There is also an increasing number of Syrian Refugees being resettled into the area. We see Sanctuary as a broad concept and are interested in making sure that our area is a place of sanctuary for all marginalised group including refugees, asylum seekers, other migrants, homeless people and victims of abuse.

The East Kent Network of Sanctuary aims to be an umbrella and networking group working with localised groups in the area of East Kent. There are currently localised branches set up, or about to be set up, in Dover, Canterbury, Deal & Sandwich and on the Isle of Thanet. We hope there will be many more. East Kent is largely rural and we hope that having an umbrella group will enable us to support and inspire each other. We initially met  in Dover, Canterbury and Folkestone. We are now meeting regularly  in Canterbury as it seems an easy to reach location  for most members. We are working  to expand our network in Thanet and Ashford area.


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