Swindon City of Sanctuary, which launches on Thursday 13 October, aims to build a culture of inclusion and hospitality towards refugees and asylum seekers living in the town.
The Swindon coordinators want citizens to sign a pledge to help the town become officially recognised by the UK wide City of Sanctuary (CofS) movement which awards towns and cities with sanctuary status once it is actively helping refugees to feel included within their communities.
There are three different pledges: for individuals, for schools and one for businesses and community organisations. You can do this at: www.swindon.cityofsanctuary.org
The launch at The Platform, Faringdon Road, will be the first event of Harbour Fest – see below.
The evening will include short talks by the founder of City of Sanctuary, Swindon Amnesty, Swindon CoS and The Harbour Project. It will be followed by performances celebrating the diversity of cultures in the town, through entertainment by Kurdish singers, spoken word of refugees journey, folk singing and more.
As no event around the world can take place without sharing food, there will be delicious nibbles cooked by Harbour visitors.
Swindon Cos chair Nicola Johnson said: “We hope to bring our community together, to look at each other as individuals who all have so much to contribute, no matter where we are from.”
Harbourfest: Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 October
A new multi-cultural arts festival to bring communities together, and raise awareness and funds for the Harbour Project which welcomes and supports newly-arrived refugees and asylum-seekers. Events include a film night and world music disco party, a Big Gig Night and pop-up art show.
Book tickets for all events at: www.harbourproject.org.uk/harbour-fest-swindon
Quiz Night to raise funds for refugees: 15 October
Sharpen those brain cells and get thinking caps on, it’s the return of the Harbour Project’s annual Quiz Night with Fish ’n Chip Supper on Saturday 15 October, 7pm for 7.30pm at St Joseph’s College, Ocotal Way.
Always a sell-out, it’s a great evening to bolster the invaluable work the Harbour does in supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Swindon.
Far from friends and family, by law not permitted to work, and subsisting on just £36.95 a week, asylum seekers are denied access to many opportunities that people take for granted. Thanks to the Harbour, there are free English classes, access to legal advice, help with life skills, volunteering opportunities, specialist support for families with young children, and a host of other supports. Currently The Harbour Project welcomes more than 350 people from more than 40 countries each year.
But it costs £120,000 annually to keep such a service going – and grant funding only covers 80 per cent of the costs. That means that the Harbour needs to raise an additional £25,000 a year to sustain the service at current levels.
Help sustain the project’s work on Saturday 15 October at an evening of quizzing, revelry (courtesy of the licenced bar), a fish ’n chip supper courtesy of the York Road Chippy, with veggie option available.
Team size limited to a maximum of 8 with individual supporters teamed up with others. Please note that for insurance reasons, the event is only open to over 18s.
Tickets are £10 per person from the Harbour office on 01793 611 682 or email email@example.com