Plymouth marks Refugee Week (13 – 20 June 2015)

A week of events are taking place in Plymouth to mark Refugee Week (13 – 20 June 2015).

Plymouth City Council and Plymouth University are among the partners who have sponsored the events which aim to celebrate the contribution of refugees in Plymouth and raise awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers. A range of organisations have organised the events including Plymouth Hope.

Councillor Philippa Davey, Plymouth City Council’s new Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “Plymouth is an increasingly diverse city and aspires to be a welcoming city. Refugee Week is an opportunity for us to find out more about refugees and hear people’s stories.

“By working with Plymouth University and other local partners we hope to ensure people learn more about refugees and also dispel some of the common myths surrounding them.”

Rupert Blomfield, Refugee Support Services Manager for the British Red Cross, said: “I can say with confidence, working for the only third sector organisation working in every asylum dispersal city or town in the UK, that Plymouth’s Refugee Week celebrations over the last few years have not been bettered by any other city in the Country.

“This is because of the support from the University, Plymouth Hope FC, the British Red Cross, Plymouth Community Homes, Devon Community Homes, Plymouth City Council, DCRS, START, the Police and the fire service, but more importantly it is because of the drive and enthusiasm coming from the City’s diverse refugee communities who are behind the organisation of the many events that are put on throughout the week.”

Rosie Brennan, Law Clinic Director at Plymouth University said: “Plymouth University is proud to be a partner in the Refugee Week celebrations for a third year. The University is delighted to be able to lend some support to the refugee community that organises this week of wonderful events by hosting film nights and the finale of the week which includes performances by young people and an international fashion show. Refugee Week combines creative and fun activities with awareness raising about the contribution of people to our society who have been forced to flee war, conflict and persecution”.

Events taking place during Refugee Week

Saturday 13 June, 10am to 5pm: Refugee Week Opening Event – ‘Hope Football Festival and Family Fun Day’ at Brickfields Sport Centre, Devonport. There will be live music, facepainting, craft activities, storytelling, bouncy castle, mini petting zoo, food and refreshments. More information at

Tuesday 16 June, 7pm – 9pm at the Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University. Showing of the film ‘Leave to Remain’, a coming of age drama following the lives of three teenage asylum seekers. For more information email

Wednesday 17 June, 7pm – 9pm at the Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University. Showing of the documentary ‘New Walls’, which portrays the interrupted lives of five refugee women who arrive in Eastern Europe after fleeing their countries of origin. Email

Thursday 18 June, 10am – 12pm – Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Open Morning at the Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Office, 7, Whimple Street, Plymouth. For more information email or telephone 01752 265952.

7pm – 9pm at the Jill Craigie Cinema, showing of the film ‘Welcome’ about a 17 year old Kurdish refugee in France who tries to travel to the UK. For more information email

Friday 19 June, from 9.30am – START (Students and Refugees Together) Walking Book. Meet at Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Office, 7, Whimple Street, Plymouth. For more information call Isaac Kelly at START on 01752 255200 or email

4pm – 8.30pm – Cultural Kitchen ‘Open House’ at Sherwell Church, North Hill. This is a safe place to meet for refugees and asylum seekers to come together, socialise, and make new friends. Led by community volunteers, the food is prepared and a healthy Halal meal is served. For more information call Isaac Kelly at START on 017523 255200 or email

Saturday 20 June – Refugee Week Finale at the Big Festival Weekend. From 12.30-1pm there will be entertainment on the Unity Stage, Roland Levinsky Building. 1pm – 2pm, International Fashion Show and Presentation of the Refugee Week and Sam Kallon Award. 2.30pm onwards – Group meeting at Sherwell Hall. For more information email