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Warwickshire Refugee Week 2024
Warwickshire Refugee Week 2024

Warwickshire County Council is proud to announce a week-long series of events in celebration of Refugee Week 2024 and World Refugee Day (20 June)

Warwickshire County Council is marking Refugee Week 2024 (17 – 21 June) by honouring refugees worldwide and recognising the strength and courage of individuals who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict. However, leaving their homes is often just the beginning of a challenging journey. 

Warwickshire County Council is proud to announce a week-long series of events in celebration of Refugee Week 2024 and World Refugee Day (20 June), inviting residents across the county to participate in various activities that promote inclusivity, understanding, and solidarity. This year’s theme, “Our Home,” encourages Warwickshire residents to reflect on the meaning of home, from our local communities to our shared global environment. 

Cllr Sue Markham, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Children and Families, said,  “Warwickshire communities, services, businesses, and residents have consistently stepped forward over the years, offering their support in various ways to provide sanctuary, assistance, and friendship, including opening their homes to refugees. 

“Through partnerships between local government, educators, healthcare providers, and voluntary groups, we have demonstrated the strength of community power to support refugees to settle in the county. 

“As we honour Refugee Week, the council recognises the importance of celebrating the resilience, contributions, and experiences of refugees. By fostering inclusive and welcoming communities, we create an environment where refugees can rebuild their lives, thrive, and make valuable contributions to our diverse society. Together, we can provide support, opportunities, and a sense of belonging for refugees, promoting understanding, compassion, and unity.” 

The highlight of the week is the end of the "Our Home, Our Art" Youth Art Competition, where young talents from the county poured their creativity into artworks reflecting the theme "Our Home". Their artworks will be displayed in libraries across Warwickshire (Atherstone, Rugby, Nuneaton, Leamington, Wellesbourne) throughout Refugee Week. The grand unveiling and celebration of these artworks, along with announcing the winners, will take place on Monday 17 June from 12-2 pm at Nuneaton Library. This special event promises to showcase the remarkable talent and heartfelt stories of participants of all ages. 

In addition to the youth art competition, Warwickshire’s Refugee Week celebrations will also feature a range of events aimed at fostering community unity, including: 

Ukrainian 'Our Home' Art Exhibition: All Saints’ Parish Church in Leamington Spa invites you to a vibrant display of Ukrainian art, music, workshops, and refreshments. The free exhibition has been organised by Whittle Productions in collaboration with ArtLab and is open daily from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 June from 10.30am to 5pm. On Monday 17 all are invited to a special Ukrainian evening from 5pm to 8pm where you can meet the workshop participants who created the artworks. 

Listening Circle: Stories from our home: Engage in storytelling sessions on 18 June, from 1pm to 5 pm, at the Fred Winter Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, promoting empathy and understanding. 

Human Books: Hear personal stories in intimate 20-minute sessions on 18 June at Stratford-upon-Avon Library. 

Refugee Week Documentary film screenings: Explore the global refugee crisis through documentary screenings from 18-20 June at 14.30, at Stratford-upon-Avon Library. 

Harbour Project Art Display: Discover the inspiring artwork crafted by young refugees and asylum seekers at the Harbour Project Art Display. Join us at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum from 18-21 June, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to witness their creativity and unique talent

Language Laboratory: Immerse yourself in language-based activities and celebrations on Wednesday 19 June at Milk and Mocha, Kenilworth from 10am to 4 pm.  

WCC Refugee Week Stall Holder Event: Learn about support services for refugees on 19 June at Leamington Spa Library. 

Refugee Runway: This show will celebrate traditional clothing from countries around the world and will feature clothes brought from home countries by refugees to Warwickshire. Don’t miss the show on Friday from 12pm to 2 pm, 21 June at The PACCAR room - Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 

A Taste of Home: Members of the refugee community, their friends and families are coming together for a cultural celebration during Refugee Week, sharing food that represents home to them. Saturday, 22 June, from 2pm to 4 pm at Stratford upon Avon Methodist Church. 

Additionally, the County Council’s Migration Team has created a special booklet on the theme of ‘Our Home’, that features work created in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes The contributions come from English learners ranging from beginners to advanced, hailing from countries including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Hong Kong. The booklet features photos and personal reflections on what home means to them. 

For more information about these free events and to book your place, please visit our collection on Eventbrite  or visit our website: Welcome to Warwickshire - Refugee Week 2024 – Warwickshire County Council.

Join us in celebrating Refugee Week and World Refugee Day by participating in these events and activities and help us make Warwickshire a more inclusive and welcoming home for all. 

Published: 12th June 2024

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