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Last Friday night, 25 people turned out at Trinity Centre in Louth to enjoy tea, coffee, and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, raising £200 in aid of Greater Lincolnshire Area of Sanctuary’s Sanctuary Breaks scheme, which places asylum seekers and refugees from Leeds and Leicester with hosts for short weekend or week-long breaks. The event was part of the International Rescue Committee’s campaign to provide safe passage for refugees fleeing Syria into Europe. A screening of “8 Borders, 8 Days” highlighted the plight of one mother and her two children.

The event, organised by Sanctuary committee member Andy Leaston, was supported by Trinity Centre. Attendees brought non-perishable food items for Trinity’s Community Larder. Suzy Davey of Louth Churches for Refugees (LCFR), another event supporter, spoke about their own work, organising a series of appeals and events in support of the victims of conflict in Syria and Iraq both here and in the Middle East. Longer term, LCFR will seek approval to host the resettlement of a refugee family (or families) in the Louth area under the auspices of the government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme.

Additionally, The Co-operative in Louth kindly supplied cones to accompany the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Greater Lincolnshire Area of Sanctuary, formerly known as East Lindsey Area of Sanctuary, (having expanded to reflect their wider geographical range), recently received a Bishop of Lincoln Social Justice Fund grant to fund a part-time Sanctuary Breaks Coordinator Post. Heather Luna was appointed this month, saying, “We are so grateful to have our work recognised by the Bishop of Lincoln and we look forward to enabling more residents in the Greater Lincolnshire area to experience the richness of inviting such lovely people into their lives, and raising awareness of the difficulties faced by refugees in the UK.”