Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram welcomed guests to the formal event on 28 February celebrating Wirral Met’s College of Sanctuary award.
Wirral Met College is the first college in the region to be awarded College of Sanctuary; an award that acknowledges colleges that have gone above and beyond to support refugees and asylum seekers and help raise awareness about migration, and why people seek safety among students, staff, and the local community.
At the event with English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), partners who have contributed to the gaining of this status were thanked for their continued commitment to support some of the borough’s most vulnerable learners. These included Northwest College of Sanctuary Trustees, Age UK Wirral, Mind Clarity Wirral, LFC Foundation, Hi Impact Consultancy, Wirral Change, Port Sunlight Crown Green Bowling and Neston Strummers.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “For centuries our area has acted as a sanctuary to those in search of a better life. If the Liverpool City Region has stood for anything, it is a fresh start – and it is a legacy that we are proud to be continuing today.
“Our Test and Learn initiative has supported hundreds of adult residents to develop the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, training or education by placing students into real life situations rather than the classroom. Congratulations to Wirral Met on being the first college in the region to be awarded College of Sanctuary – think of it as radical kindness – it is our area showing that by treating people with compassion, as human beings, we can achieve much better results.”
Sue Higginson, Principal and CEO of Wirral Met College said, “Our students enrich our lives every day and we are so grateful to the work they do to help us to continuously improve our college. It’s a real privilege to hear their stories, the challenges they have overcome, and see the vital contribution they make to our region and college – because it isn’t just about improving English it’s about helping them to settle in the Liverpool City Region and to develop skills they need.
“This award is really valued recognition of our college as a safe and special place where people feel welcome and a place where people can learn.”
Jeff Morgan, Northwest College of Sanctuary UK Trustee and former Regional Coordinator for College of Sanctuary, said, “I was very impressed by the award submission by Wirral Met. One of the principals of College of Sanctuary is to give those seeking sanctuary every chance to be part of the decision making process of the institution and British life they join.
“So I am glad that this college has become a beacon of welcome, which is what this award is about – giving a warm welcome, helping individuals to reach their full potential despite obstacles of settling in a new country with a new language and all the challenges that entails.”
Main image: (L-R) Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, Sue Higginson Principal of Wirral Met College, Jeff Morgan, Northwest College of Sanctuary UK Trustee, Nicky Taylor Head of ESOL and Ste Bailey Assistant Principal at Wirral Met College