Published: Tuesday, 21st June 2022
June 20-26 marks Refugee Week, an annual festival celebrating the amazing contributions of refugees, and the theme for 2022 is ‘healing’.
There are many ways you can get involved and celebrate by visiting the Refugee Week website.
Luca Silverstrini‘s Protein dance company are running three different events in Woolwich this week celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Find out more.
Woolwich Works is screening There and Here, a documentary highlighting the stories of 21 refugees and asylum seekers on Saturday 25 June. Artist and refugee-led dance and arts & crafts workshops will begin at 11am and the premiere of There and Here + Q&A will be at 12.30pm. The film will be followed by buffet, music and dancing.
Royal Greenwich’s own National Maritime Museum is also running a series of activities and events this week including No Direction Home, a comedy evening on Friday 24 June produced by Counterpoints Arts featuring new stand-ups from refugee and migrant backgrounds. You can also visit any time to explore their ‘Migrant Stories’ permanent museum collection.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich has a proud history of supporting those fleeing war and persecution, who want to make our borough their home. We currently support 19 Syrian families through our Greenwich Sanctuary Project Resettlement programme, and last year we hosted 700 people from Afghanistan who quarantined in the borough, including four families who now call Royal Greenwich their home. Around 270 people have also recently arrived in the borough from Ukraine.
In December 2020, the Royal Borough of Greenwich passed a motion to start the process to become a ‘Borough of Sanctuary’ with the organisation City of Sanctuary, because we believe that everyone deserves a safe place to live.
We’re also proud to help fund and work closely with the Plumstead Community Law Centre, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network’s Greenwich Hub, and the Greenwich Inclusion Project (GrIP), among others.
Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Council, said, “This week we are so proud to celebrate the wonderful contributions that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have made to our borough and beyond for Refugee Week 2022.
“Anyone who seeks to make Royal Greenwich their home is welcome here – no matter where you are from in the world.
“With recent cruel and inhumane policies brought forward by central government, it is more important than ever to stand up for the rights of refugees across the UK."
If you are a refugee, asylum seeker, or migrant living in Royal Greenwich and need support, the council has services to help you with:
- Benefits and hardship information
- Help to find work
- Homelessness support
- Support for people experiencing domestic abuse
- Help with rising cost of living
- Help for Ukrainians in Royal Greenwich
- Nil Recourse to Public Funds Team (NRPF Team)*
*The NRPF Team provides statutory services to Royal Greenwich migrant residents who are experiencing destitution. For more information, or to make a referral, please call the Contact and Assessment Team on 0208 921 2304 or email AOPS.Contact.Officers@royalgreenwich.gov.uk and cc Nilrecourse@royalgreenwich.gov.uk
We also are proud to fund the vital work of local organisations who support refugees and migrants:
- Plumstead Community Law Centre receives funding from the Royal Borough of Greenwich and provides free support and advice on immigration, housing, employment & more to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers along with Greenwich residents.
- Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network, a local organisation which receives funding from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. LRMN provides free support and advice on immigration, housing, employment & more to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
- Greenwich Inclusion Project, an independent local community organization that focuses on promoting race, religious equality, community inclusion freedom from hate crime, guidance and/or workshops. To find out more contact contact firstname.lastname@example.org at GrIP Tel: 020 3747 9864
- Live Well Greenwich is an organisation which offers health and wellbeing support for local residents.
- The Royal Greenwich Community Hub has been supporting people since the beginning of the pandemic, with thousands of volunteers who provide advice and help on a range of topics from food, money issues and housing, to employment, training and social activities.