St. Chad’s Sanctuary was delighted to receive Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, through their door on Friday 4th February 2011.
Iain Duncan Smith, himself a catholic, was warmly welcomed by Sister Margaret, volunteers, Archbishop Bernard Longley, Canon Gerry Breen, and Major Samuel Edgar, from the Salvation Army.
His visit consisted of a tour of the premises, located on Shadwell Street opposite St. Chad’s Cathedral, where he was guided around by Sister Margaret Walsh, founder and manager of the Sanctuary.
During the hour long visit he chatted informally to the volunteers and was shown the food, clothes and hygiene stores, only made possible from the kind donations of the public.
The Secretary of State praised the Sanctuary for its good work and seemed impressed at the efficiency of such a new organisation.
Mr Duncan Smith set up the Centre for Social Justice, an independent political think tank seeking effective solutions to poverty issues in the UK in 2004. His concern for unemployment and poverty was apparent during his chats with volunteers and service users.
The Sanctuary which is open Monday to Friday is always looking for donations of food, clothes and hygiene products, to successfully continue its support for asylum seekers and refugees, many of whom are destitute.