Refugee Week 2022 took place last week, 20-26 June.
Refugee Week is a national celebration of the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers. It aims to provide these individuals with a platform to share their own work and stories, whilst inviting everyone to listen and advance their understanding of the challenges faced by people who have been displaced.
As a Theatre of Sanctuary, we are proud to offer a place of welcome and safety for refugees and asylum seekers. We run free workshops, classes and Theatre visits as part of our year-round participation programme, designed to support and welcome asylum seekers and refugees.
Our weekly Conversation Café is a friendly space where participants can meet new people and practice English over a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Raise Your Voice workshops run straight after this session and invite participants to take part in fun activities to support confidence building and new connections.
In 2022, we started Saturday morning storytelling sessions, Wakey! Wakey!, for pre-school aged children and their families. The young participants are invited to engage in fun and creative story time, led by a facilitator.
At Wakey! Wakey! last week, we shared Elmer the Elephant and The Smartest Giant in Town, stories which celebrate difference and kindness. The children had lots of fun making their own elephant masks and fancy crowns as well as building confidence in speaking English through games and song.
How To Be Lucky
We began Refugee Week with An Invisible Man’s production of How To Be Lucky. The performance explored the experience of a family’s displacement from Syria due to civil war, told through a single character, Anwar, whose fictionalised journey was devised from an amalgamation of interviews with re-settled Syrians and their UK support workers.
The post-show Q&A session provoked meaningful discussion amongst the audience, as the artistic director helped further connect the story with the ongoing reality for families who have been displaced due to civil war.
We are always working to broaden our outreach and to make contacts with other organisations working with asylum seekers and refugees.
Last week was a great opportunity for our Participation Team to nurture those links at celebration events in the city and meetings at the Theatre.
We are working with City of Sanctuary and the Refugee Council to ensure there is plenty of enriching provision and a friendly welcome to all who come to Wakefield.
Take Part or Volunteer
Come along to our Conversation Café at the Theatre every Thursday from 6pm, Wakey! Wakey! on Saturday mornings at 11am, or contact Janine to find out more.