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Buy a coffee and support a sanctuary seeker

City of Sanctuary Coffee Bank

We are delighted to launch the Reading City of Sanctuary Coffee Bank in cafés on campus from 7 June 2021. Instead of ordering your usual cappuccino, buy two drinks and leave one in the bank to support local sanctuary seekers and Reading City of Sanctuary!

Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Reading City of Sanctuary Manager, said: “We are thrilled to see yet another brilliant initiative to be launched by the University of Reading, an initiative which will facilitate contact among members of our diverse community and ultimately foster an environment of understanding and welcome for people fleeing war and persecution. Thank you to all for the hard work getting this set up in the most unprecedented of circumstances”.

How does it work?

When you buy an extra Sanctuary coffee (£2 Students; £2.40 Non-Student) in cafes on campus, we bank the credit for sanctuary seekers. As a member of the supporting charities, local sanctuary seekers can visit the cafe, receive a hot drink from the bank and participate in the same café culture we can all enjoy and benefit from at the University.

Participating cafes at Whiteknights campus currently include: Dol.che Vita, Library Café and Enterprise Café. Information about the venues’ opening hours can be found on our website.

If you wish to donate to the coffee bank, please let staff in the participating cafes know you want to buy an extra Sanctuary coffee and you will be charged an additional £2 donation.

Sanctuary cafes on campus are part of a network of Sanctuary Cafes in Reading, including Monty’s, Addington Road;  Global Café, RISCPavilion; the Shed; South Reading Community Hub.  See also the map of Sanctuary Cafes in Reading we have developed. We work in partnership with Reading City of Sanctuary, Reading Refugees Support Group, Reading Community Learning Centre and Red Cross on implementing the coffee bank.

Why does it matter?

Sanctuary seekers (refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants) are particularly vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Having the opportunity to access a free coffee provides an incentive and an opportunity for sanctuary seekers to engage with staff and students, to visit campus and feel welcome as part of the University community. This is part of the University of Reading’s wider commitment to Reading City of Sanctuary and the national City of Sanctuary initiative.

Find out more

For more information about the Reading City of Sanctuary Coffee Bank, please contact: Maggie Filippova-Rivers, Manager, Reading City of Sanctuary. Email:

For more information about the University’s City of Sanctuary work, see our webpages. If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Evans ( or Federico Faloppa (


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