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West Northamptonshire to celebrate Refugee Week 2022

Community, safety and emergencies

17 June 2022

Image of adult hands cradling young hands in an supportive manner

West Northants will celebrate Refugee Week from Monday with a number of events to raise awareness of issues affecting asylum seekers and the local support available to them.

Throughout the week of 20 to 26 June, events will take place at the University of Northampton, Delapre Abbey and online, with a full programme of speakers and presentations also planned at the Guildhall on Thursday, 23 June.

The activities will showcase all the support available to refugees in West Northamptonshire, whose communities have welcomed hundreds of individuals and families fleeing persecution from places including the Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria.

Recent resettlement schemes have included supporting the arrival and community care needs of nearly 400 Afghan nationals and more than 290 local people coming forward as sponsors for Ukrainian families as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Diverse Communities Forum will be hosting the event in the Guildhall alongside Town of Sanctuary, from 4pm to 6pm, with stalls from organisations including Red Cross, DWP and Quakers.

There will also be a short film and a photo exhibition from L2L during the event and presentations and stories from refugees that have settled in Northants.

Cllr David Smith, WNC Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory Services, said: "West Northants is an incredibly welcoming place and we’re always astounded by people’s community spirit and their willingness to help others – something which has been particularly evident during the recent Afghan and Ukrainian resettlement Programmes.

"Refugee Week provides an opportunity for us all to reflect upon the courage of refugees across the world who have been forced from their homes and countries to escape conflict, and to extend the hand of friendship to anyone in need.

"I hope that people will join us for this important programme of events and take the opportunity to learn about the stories of refugees who have joined our communities."

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.

Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety.

This Refugee Week explores the theme of ‘Healing’ and celebrates community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again through creativity and conversations.

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