Last updated: 13 December 2023

Next review: 13 December 2024

We are proud of the diversity within our borough and have a history of being a welcoming place for people from all over the world who want to make Waltham Forest their home. 

Migration of all forms has enriched our culture, bringing energy and skills to create a stronger borough for us all. We know that our residents share pride in our diversity and multiculturalism. 

In December 2023 we launched our Borough of Sanctuary Framework and were officially recognised as a Borough of Sanctuary through the national charity City of Sanctuary.

Our work is shaped by a steering group of partners across statutory organisations, the voluntary and community sector and people with lived experience of forced migration. Together, we have developed a local framework of welcome to guide our priorities and strengthen existing work over the next three years. 

Our Borough of Sanctuary Framework

The Waltham Forest Borough of Sanctuary Framework 2023 to 26 reflects the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of a range of groups alongside key areas of need and opportunities to empower people seeking sanctuary in line with our local strengths.

Key priorities over the next 3 years are outlined is an action plan covering 6 priority areas. 

Education and skills 

We will review and expand pathways into education, employment training and local careers for migrants and people seeking sanctuary enabling the use and development of new and existing skills and qualifications. 


We will work with partners to create effective systems responding to the healthcare needs of people seeking sanctuary including trauma informed care, mental health support and information in community languages. 

Building Communities 

We will bring together organisations and residents to expand existing and develop new community connections through volunteering, faith, leisure, and culture.  


We will amplify the voices of people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary sharing cultures, experiences, and challenges to both celebrate their contributions and inform our decision-making.  We will use our own voices to continue to call out and challenge central government policy that creates a hostile environment towards migrants. 

Shaping Services 

We will ensure the way in which local services are delivered aligns with the needs of people seeking sanctuary. 

Bespoke Support 

We will embed the needs of people seeking sanctuary into proactively designing and developing new and innovative services.