Here are some examples of the many diverse campaigning and awareness raising events that have taken place throughout the UK
1) Location: Exeter
Venue: City Centre
Title of Event: Test the public – can you pass the citizenship test?
Summary: Over two days members of the public were invited to take the British Citizenship test.
2) Location: London
Venue: City Hall
Title of Event: Refugee Stories Exhibition
Summary: A visual and oral exhibition showing the contributions that refugees have made to London through business, community work, arts, sport, healthcare, food and education. Combining facts with the voices of refugees themselves, the exhibition gave an insight into the experiences of those who have been forced to make London their home and who have in turn helped to create one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the world.
3) Location: Belfast
Venue: Law Centre
Title of Event: Forced to Flee – asylum FAQ guide launch
Summary: Launch of third edition of “Forced to Flee: frequently asked questions about refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland”, an updated response to questions on asylum frequently asked by journalists, politicians, community activists, teachers and members of the public and playing an important part in educating the Northern Ireland public about this important issue. Speakers on the night included Amnesty International’s Patrick Corrigan, the Michael Fisher of the NUJ and RTE, Buster Cox of the Refugee Action Group and a member of the local refugee community.
4) Location: Peterborough
Venue: Waterstones / Starbucks / Boots
Title of Event: Refugee Week Information Stalls
Summary: Peterborough businesses engaged with local Refugee Week organisers by allowing their premises to be used for events. Members of the public were invited find out more about refugees and Refugee Week in Peterborough at an information stand outside Boots, and also to find out how to become a mentor to new arrivals through the Time Bank Time Together programme while enjoying a coffee in Starbucks in Cathedral Square. The public was also given the opportunity to discover the contribution refugees have made to the literacy world by visiting Waterstones stores throughout the week where work by refugee authors as well as books on refugee and asylum issues were highlighted.
5) Location: London
Venue: Marcus Garvey Library
Title of Event: Refugee Week ‘Represent’ Programme
Summary: A number of skills & creativity workshops for adult refugees and asylum seekers which culminated in an exhibition and launch event showcasing insights into the lives, past, present, and future, of refugees and asylum seekers in the North London Area. There was a strong focus on the reasons for seeking asylum, what they have achieved, and contributed to the UK since becoming refugees (volunteers, valued employees etc.). There was also a week long display of success stories of different Refugees/Asylum Seekers which were shown in writing, documentaries of past events and pictures. Event attendees were also encouraged to talk to the Refugees featured in the exhibition.
6) Location: Woking
Venue: Wolsey Place Shopping Centre
Title of Event: Refugee Awareness
Summary: This awareness raising event included displays about the current worldwide refugee situation, facts and myths about asylum seekers and individual stories. It promoted understanding of why people become refugees, celebrated the contribution they make to society, and highlighted the many issues faced. There was also an opportunity to talk to refugees and listen to their stories.
7) Location: Coventry
Venue: Coventry Peace House
Title of Event: Myth Busting Training
Summary: An information session introducing the facts and fibs surrounding asylum based on the Refugee Councils Tell It Like It Is myth busting booklet.
8) Location: London
Venue: Kensington Charity Centre
Title of Event: Refugee Journalists into the Media: refugees as a voice for refugees
Summary: An evening of discussions focusing on the challenges faced by refugee Journalists in their engagement with the mainstream media and the British Public at large, and also to reflect on some of the practical initiatives that need to be undertaken to promote refugee journalists’ active involvement.
9) Location: London
Venue: Throughout London
Title of Event: The New Londoners
Summary: A tabloid-size 24-page newspaper for Refugee Week 2007 was produced. Mimicking already existing free papers such as ‘London Lite’ and the ‘Metro’ the launch issue of The New Londoners contained articles on the media coverage/hysteria on asylum issues, Strangers into Citizens campaign, party political differences on asylum, the housing crisis and destitution, personal accounts of the process of seeing asylum in the UK as well as a worldwide map of global human displacement, stories of refugee achievements and political interviews with Tony Benn, Ken Livingstone and Angelina Jolie. During Refugee Week the newspapers were handed out at bus, train and underground stations as well as in the street and it is estimated that over 45’000 copies of the paper were distributed throughout the week
10) Location: Coventry
Venue: Coventry Refugee Centre
Title of Event: Coventry Refugee Centre Open Day
Summary: During Refugee Week the Coventry Refugee Centre opened its doors to the general public to raise awareness of the services it offers, in addition to the current legal, political and social situation of asylum seekers and refugees. Members of the public were invited along to hear speeches made by local lecturers, participate in myth busting activities, mix with Coventry’s community groups and gain a more balanced understanding of how the Centre helps some of the world’s most needy establish a new life.