Norwich Schools of Sanctuary logoNorwich Schools of Sanctuary is collaborating with Anglia Ruskin University and The Common Lot to develop an event as part of the Amnesty International initiative #FootballWelcomes. We are looking for teachers and educators to be part of the project.

In April, schools across the county will be invited to hold a day of action to build their pupils’ understanding of what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to engage with Norfolk’s rich history as a place of welcome and safety for refugees and asylum seekers. There will be assembly materials and lesson plans available to deepen the pupils’ engagement with these issues and participating schools will be encouraged to have a non-uniform day where the children will wear yellow and green and be asked to make a voluntary donation to support local refugee communities.

For the day of action, the research team behind Come Yew In! will be conducting new research, and using existing materials from Come Yew In!, to develop resources for primary and secondary schools.

Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which will be a focus for this project. Currently, we plan to develop resources around the following themes:

  • The Gallego Brothers, refugees from the Spanish Civil War who played for Norwich City FC and Cambridge United
  • Spanish refugees in Norfolk
  • Guernica & Picasso
  • The Strangers & the introduction of canaries to Norfolk
  • A historical overview of Norfolk’s rich history as a place of sanctuary
  • Cross-curricular lessons exploring the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the modern world

We are looking for teachers and educators interested in collaborating with the researchers in order to shape lesson plans.

We are having a meeting to introduce the project to the research team and interested educators at 7-9pm on October 18th at a venue tbc. If you would like to attend, please email Jake Brown at

Norwich Schools of Sancturary, Anglia Ruskin University, and The Common Lot logos




Amnesty International logo




#Football Welcomes 2017 in brief…

In 2017 30 football clubs took part in #FootballWelcomes, an Amnesty International initiative that saw a weekend of activities across the country to  celebrate the contribution refugees have made to football since the Second World War.

The clubs all took part in their own way, from putting on games for young refugees and/or offering free tickets, to arranging stadium tours or writing about it on their websites and promoting it on social media.

There is a round up here which includes some examples of what different clubs did –

#FootballWelcomes received widespread coverage in national and local media and was supported by The English Football League, the Women’s Super league and a number of Premier League clubs. It was also backed by other organisations like Kick it Out, Football Against Racism in Europe, the Football Supporters Federation, Football Unites, Racism Divides and the University of Brighton.


#Norwich City FC Welcomes

The Canaries FC logoThis project is particularly pertinent to Norwich City FC.

Their emblem and nickname ‘The Canaries’ is a legacy of Norwich’s history as a place of sanctuary. In the 16th century more than a third of the city’s population were refugees who had fled religious persecution in the lowlands of Europe. They introduced to Norfolk the pastime of canary breeding which quickly became popular and synonymous with the area, hence the adoption of the canary by Norwich City FC in the 20th century.

Norwich City FC has also had at least two players who were refugees. In 1946 Tony Gallego spent a season on Norwich’s books. The young goalkeeper and his brother Jose first came to England along with 3000 other unaccompanied children fleeing the Spanish Civil War. Both brothers, and several others of those children, had careers as professional footballers.

Image of footballer, Mario Vrančić In addition, Norwich City FC’s recent signing Mario Vrančić moved to Germany with his family as a child seeking sanctuary from the Bosnian war. He later became a professional footballer and whilst playing for SV Darmstadt 98, he appeared in the documentary short Refugee Eleven, a film project to promote understanding of the experiences of those seeking asylum in Germany.

The club has a very active community sports foundation. It was also awarded Kick It Out’s Equality Standard in recognition of their work to promote equality. In its inaugural year, Norwich City FC was one of thirty clubs across the country to support Amnesty International’s #FootballWelcomes initiative.