City gearing up for events to mark Refugee Week in Sunderland

Refugee Week, a series of events recognising the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers, starts in Sunderland on Monday, June 20.

Monday, 27th June 2022, 3:18 pm

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As always, Refugee Week in Sunderland will kick off with the Walk of Sanctuary, led by City of Sanctuary chair, Chris Howson, honouring the harsh journeys people make to find refuge in new countries.

The 12-mile round trip begins at Sunderland Minster, stopping at Roker, Fulwell and the Northern Spire, before heading to Barnes Park for a picnic. The group will then walk to Mowbray Park and back to the Minster. People are welcome to join the walk at any point to show support.

The Stories of Sanctuary performance at Sunderland College’s Bede Campus on June 25, brings emotional tales of people migrating to Sunderland for various reasons over the years and is inspired by Sunderland’s own history and heritage.

A week of events starts with a walk from Sunderland Minster.

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There is also a family fun day at Backhouse Park, a community football match and cricket match at the Beacon of Light, meals and much more.

Sunderland City Council will illuminate city landmarks in orange, in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers in Sunderland and around the UK.

Refugee Week sees people from different backgrounds meet, while encouraging everyone to understand why people become displaced and the challenges they face when seeking safety.

The Ukraine flag in Sunderland Minster in March 2022.

The theme for 2022 is “Healing” – the recovery from painful experiences or situations and something anyone forced to flee their homes and build new lives understands. Everyone is invited to celebrate “community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again”.

A spokesperson said: “Refugee Week in Sunderland is always an exciting and busy time for members of the refugee community and for the many volunteers from the local community who support them, and for many other local people.

“This year's programme is probably the most extensive ever and will be eagerly awaited after two years of covid restrictions.

“The plight of refugees is in the public gaze as never before because of the war in Ukraine and the highly contentious issue of asylum seekers being sent to Rwanda, and next week is a great opportunity to highlight what a welcoming city Sunderland is.”

For more details visit the council website.