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Warwickshire County Council is supporting national refugee week (14 - 20 June 2021) with a range of activities. Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resi...

Warwickshire County Council is supporting national refugee week (14 - 20 June 2021) with a range of activities.

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 of support and solidarity.

The theme for this years’ refugee week is ‘We cannot walk alone’ which is inspired by a quote from civil rights leader, Martin Luther King’s iconic ‘I have a dream’ speech. The week is an invitation to extend your hand to someone new. Someone who is outside your current circle, has had an experience you haven’t, or is fighting for a cause you aren’t yet involved in. It is a collective act of reaching out; a space for us all to listen, to exchange and connect. To find out what we can learn from each other, and what we can build together.

Warwickshire County Council has a long and proud history of supporting refugees in the county from unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people to Syrian families who have resettled in Warwickshire as part of the Syrian resettlement scheme following the civil war in Syria, which began 10 years ago.

To mark this year’s Refugee Week, workers from Warwickshire County Council’s social care services have organised a sponsored walk for young people from Birmingham to Warwick in five legs, covering five days, which began on Monday 14 June.

The journey of 37 miles, raising awareness of the often huge journeys made by refugees to get to safety will be split as follows:

  • Birmingham to Solihull
  • Solihull to Balsall Common
  • Balsall Common to Kenilworth
  • Kenilworth to Coventry
  • Coventry to Warwick

All proceeds from sponsorship will be given to the Refugee Council who are dedicated to supporting refugees around the world. A Just Giving page has been created for residents who would like to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liss-phillips19

In addition to the sponsored walk, there is also a display outside Warwick library that contains quotes from refugees recently resettled to Warwickshire about their experiences of fleeing their country, their arrival in the UK and the welcome that they have received in the county. South Warwickshire libraries will also feature refugee themed book displays throughout the week to enable people to learn more about the topic.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said: “The fact that, when the need arises, Warwickshire comes together to provide a safe place for refugees to begin to heal and rebuild their lives is a testament to what a fantastic place this county is to live.

“I am immensely proud that Warwickshire County Council is able to provide a comprehensive package of support to refugees and that local communities always go above and beyond to make some of our most vulnerable residents so welcome.

“In Warwickshire refugees are able to begin their healing in a county that has always celebrated and welcomed diversity; a county that has always offered help to its most vulnerable residents; and a county that has a deep and enduring sense of civic-mindedness at its very heart.”

More information about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Warwickshire can be found on the website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/uac

Published: 14th June 2021