Refugee Week in Lancashire will take place between 14 - 20 June 2021, with a variety of events taking place.

Refugee Week in Lancashire – 14 – 20 June 2021

We Cannot Walk Alone – #Generations

This Refugee Week, we invite you to join refugees and asylum seekers and VCFSE organisations who work with them by getting involved with events based on the theme, ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’.

Taken from Dr Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, the theme asks us to make Refugee Week 2021 a bold, collective act of reaching out; a space for us all to listen, to exchange and connect.

To find out what we can learn from each other, and what we can build together.

The challenges of the past year have proved how interconnected we are, and how much we need each other.

Join Refugee Week events around Lancashire to meet new people, learn something new, and celebrate the great contributions refugees and asylum seekers make to life in Lancashire.

Many events are being held online this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

What events are happening in Preston?

Preston City of Sanctuary Discussion

Monday 14 June 2021 – Online 1pm-2pm

In this Refugee Week Launch event, speakers from Preston City of Sanctuary (PCoS), Preston City Council, UCLan, Preston’s College, and Preston-based sanctuary seekers will talk about what sanctuary means to them. They will explore how their organisations are embracing togetherness and walking side by side with sanctuary seekers.

Cookalong Events

Tuesday 15 June 2021 and Thursday 17 June 2021 – Online 5.30pm -7.30pm

Join Diana, Gres and the Preston City of Sanctuary Community to learn how to make international recipes: Spanish Omelette and Venezuelan arepas.

Asylum Monologues Performance

Wednesday 16 June 2021 – Online 6pm -7.30pm

Using documentary theatre, Asylum Monologues interweaves first-hand accounts of the UK’s asylum system with chilling details.

The performance explores the effects on those experiencing the hostile environments when seeking sanctuary in the UK.

The Actors for Human Rights programme was founded in 2006 and is a network of more than 700 actors across the UK who are dedicated to drawing public attention to human rights concerns.

Ice and Fire explores human rights stories through performance. They put human rights at the core of everything they do to make accessible theatre for a wide range of audiences across the UK.

Performed by the Ice and Fire performers.

Belly Dancing Workshop

Thursday 17 June 2021 –  Online 8pm – 9pm

Preston City of Sanctuary invites you to join a workshop and learn to belly dance with renowned Egyptian belly dancer Jane Wass. 

What does ‘Refugee’ mean?

There is often some confusion about the difference between asylum seekers, migrants and refugees.

A ‘refugee’ is someone who has been forced to leave their country due to threats or persecution. Refugees are protected by international law, specifically the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Once someone has been recognized as a refugee, they are supposed to be given support to find housing, employment and helped to integrate into society.

An ‘asylum-seeker’ is a person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country. An asylum seeker is someone who is waiting to receive a legal decision about whether or not they can receive refugee status. During this waiting period, they are not allowed to access social housing, benefits or employment in the host country.

A ‘migrant’ is a person who has chosen to move not because of a direct threat or persecution but mainly to improve their lives, either by finding employment or reuniting with family. Unlike refugees, who cannot safely return home, migrants can return home if they wish.

How many refugees are there?

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that there are currently 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world, including those displaced within their own countries.

Are there Refugees in Lancashire?

There are currently just over 600 refugees resettled across Lancashire as part of the Syrian Resettlement Programme, Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme, and UK Resettlement Scheme.

All these families are supported by a variety of statutory and voluntary agencies, coordinated by Lancashire County Council.

In addition to this, there are some asylum-route families who have settled in Lancashire after receiving refugee status.

More information

For more information about Refugee Week and other events taking place nationally, please visit the Refugge Week website.