Members of African Community Heritage Hub Ltd's ‘Second Stitch’ project

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is celebrated through a programme of arts, cultural and educational events to bring about positive encounters between communities, helping them to connect and learn from each other, and promoting a culture of welcome. The theme of Refugee Week 2020 is #Imagine.

For many refugees and asylum seekers, coming to Great Britain isn’t a decision, it is a necessity. At People’s Health Trust, we fund various projects around Great Britain who support refugees to share their experiences, creating social ties and strengthening their sense of community.

In the East, the Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association (PARCA) and their project ‘Creating Communities for All’, funded by the Trust with money raised through Health Lottery East, are working to deliver a range of activities designed to develop stronger communities and improved integration among residents from a range of ethnic backgrounds (Black and Minority Ethnic and white British) in Peterborough, who are not in employment.

A large part of integration in communities comes from making social connections, which is an important foundation for good health. African Community Heritage Hub Ltd, funded by the Trust with money raised by Health Lottery West Midlands provides these social connections through dressmaking and sewing classes using recycled materials for African women aged 50+ who are refugees, originally from the East of Congo, Eritrea, Somalia and Syria and now living in the Birmingham area. Participants meet twice a week to increase their skills, improve their English, increase self-confidence, create social connections and share similar experiences.

In London, the Centre for Armenian Information & Advice (CAIA), funded by the Trust with money raised through Health Lottery London West is providing weekly meetings for people who feel vulnerable or are disadvantaged, including refugees, from the Armenian community. The meetings include opportunities for the members to speak openly, share experiences and anxieties, and learn about mental health to support their own challenges. The group gives local people the opportunity to make friends, develop their confidence and self-esteem, and provide peer support to each other.

With Residents from different cultural backgrounds coming together to address inequalities by taking action on issues that are important to them, it creates community integration and collective control, all foundations to good health and wellbeing.

There are many ways to join in with Refugee Week, to find out more, click here.

Get ideas for how to take action to stand with refugees through Simple Acts.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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