In Autumn 2015, images of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children journeying to safety across Europe shook the debate on refugees in the UK and across the continent.
Not all responses were sympathetic, but amidst the hostile headlines and tightened borders emerged stories of incredible acts of welcome by communities and individuals across the UK and Europe, who rushed to offer their time and energy in solidarity with their new neighbours.
Between 20 and 26 June, Refugee Week 2016 will celebrate these acts of welcome, and seek to encourage and inspire communities to continue to welcome refugees in the years to come.
To make this possible, we are looking for stories of welcome from across the UK to become part of our Refugee Week 2016 media and social media campaigns.
What kind of stories are we looking for?
Different people, organisations and communities may welcome refugees in different ways. You – or someone you know – might have:
Started a campaign for your local council to accept more refugees
Helped a refugee or asylum seeker to settle in your town
Visited an asylum seeker in detention
Helped turn your school, town or organisation into a place of sanctuary
… or done something else entirely to welcome someone fleeing persecution – whatever your story of welcome may be, big or small, we would love to hear from you.
I’m a refugee/ asylum seeker
If you a from a refugee background yourself with a story of how you have been welcomed – or have welcomed somebody new – then do get in touch, we would particularly like to hear from you.
How will my story be used?
We are creating a bank of stories we can draw from to feature in our Refugee Week 2016 media and social media campaigns.
This means we may invite you to speak to a journalist about your story, or to have your photo and a few lines about your experience featured on an image to be shared on social media.
Last year our stories of refugee contributions were featured in the Mirror, BBC, ITV and Radio 4 among others, reaching a potential 12 million people.
We will discuss how your story may may be used and ask for your consent before using your name, photo or story.
How do I submit?
Send a few lines briefly summarising your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name and a contact telephone number, and if we’d like to hear more we’ll be in touch for further details.
THANK YOU for helping us spread a message of welcome this Refugee Week!
About REFUGEE WEEK
Refugee Week is a festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.