The Sherman Theatre in Cardiff has announced that it has become Wales’ first Theatre of Sanctuary. The status awarded by City of Sanctuary recognises the Sherman as somewhere refugees and asylum seekers can feel safe, welcome and supported. Julia Barry, Executive Director of Sherman Theatre has said, “In recent years, through our Sherman 5 programme, and our work with volunteers and community partners, we have been fortunate to embark upon an enriching and engaging partnership with the refugee and asylum seeker community within Cardiff. It is a privilege to be awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status and we look forward to the opportunities it will afford us in further developing our relationships with this vibrant community in our city.” David Bacon of Chair of Cardiff, City of Sanctuary said, “The Sherman’s enthusiasm and efforts over recent years have seen many occasions when asylum seekers and refugees have been members of the audience, volunteers, participants in behind the scene activities or had their voice heard on stage. The theatre has also raised awareness amongst a wider audience of the experiences of sanctuary seekers and what they bring to us. We hope the Sherman’s example of offering a warm welcome will inspire other organisations to follow suit so that Cardiff can truly become a City of Sanctuary.”
2020 sees the Sherman community enter the second of year of the second phase of Sherman 5, which was made possible thanks to the award of a More and Better grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation to grow and develop the programme for a further year.