Host of events to mark Refugee Week 2019
A series of events to mark Refugee Week (17 June – 23 June 2019) are happening.
The theme of Refugee Week 2019, “You, me and those who came before”, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations.
Events organised by Shropshire Supports Refugees include:
- Tuesday 18 June (today) at Participate Gallery. – Artists exhibition on the theme of “you me and those who came before.” Open evening 5pm-7pm, exhibition is then available all week.
- Wednesday 19 June at Salop Leisure – Film “Sky and Ground” to be hosted by “Flicks in the Sticks”. 7pm-10pm.
- Thursday 20 June at The Hive – “Tuned in song writing project” for children 8-18 years. 10.30am – 3.30 pm.
- Thursday 20 June at In Good Hands – A poetry and reading evening with Pat Edwards (organiser 0f Welshpool Poetry Festival). 7pm till late.
- Saturday 22 June at Shrewsbury Library – Culture Day. Children’s art exhibitions, Arabic writing workshops and book readings. Drumming workshops, a storybook and story sack created by the Syrians themselves. Information stalls and creative workshops, and a talk on Arabic and Syrian culture. Culturally diverse artwork displays.
- Saturday 22 June at In Good Hands – A concert on Windrush day by the “One and Twelve Band “. 7pm-late.
- Sunday 23 June at The Shrewsbury Buddhist Centre – Film -Human Flow (Sangha members only).
People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in the UK for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. From the Jewish refugees of the 1930s to people fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, Kosovans in the 1990s to those arriving today; they are part of who we all are.
A key aim of the campaign is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration, enabling refugees to live in safety and continue making a valuable contribution.
Amanda Jones, Director of Shropshire Supports Refugees not for profit CIC, said:-
“Shropshire Supports Refugees has been supporting families resettled in Shropshire through the VPRS (Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation) Government-led scheme since 2016.
“We recognise that it is not enough to just help these few families to integrate and find their feet in a new country, but that it is our duty to also continue to raise awareness and raise the profile of refugees and asylum seekers who are still stuck in horrific circumstances around the world.
“This year is refugee week theme is “You, me and those who came before”, offering us a chance to raise the profile of refugees and migrants who have enhanced our towns and cities through the years and indeed generations gone by.
“Nurturing a celebratory attitude rather than just a ‘tolerating’ attitude is the way that we would like to ensure that the families who are living in Shropshire are accepted and welcomed now and into the future.”
Since 2016 Shropshire Council, who commissions the Shropshire Supports Refugees service, has been working with key partners to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis and to support the Syrian resettlement programme. Since the scheme began, 63 individuals have now settled in Shropshire
Laura Fisher, Shropshire Council’s housing services manager, said:-
“We are very proud in Shropshire we have had amazing local support to help those families displaced from their war torn country, to start a new life in Shropshire.
“I am delighted to be supporting Refugee Week. It’s great to see that so many people and organisations have come together to bring a fantastic program of events, and we fully intend for Refugee Week to become embedded in Shropshire’s rich events calendar for many years to come.”
Amanda Jones added:-
“All that is being done throughout the county in support of the plight of the refugees, will go towards Shropshire obtaining a ‘County of Sanctuary’ award by the end of 2019.”
To find out more about the events, search Shropshire Supports Refugees on Facebook.
For further information about Refugee Week visit https://refugeeweek.org.uk/
About Refugee Week
Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. The aims of Refugee Week are:
- To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
- To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
- To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
- To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences.
About Shropshire’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme
A Cross Party Working Group was established in Shropshire to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis and to support the Syrian resettlement programme which will support 20,000 people to resettle in the UK.
The group consists of councillors representing each of the political parties, Shropshire Council’s adult social care team, children’s services, safeguarding and housing services, Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly, West Mercia Police, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Shropshire Council committed to the resettling of 15 Syrian families in the county. This equated to 63 individuals being welcomed into the county between June 2016 – March 2017.