British Red Cross marks World Refugee Day with celebration event in Plymouth

The British Red Cross celebrated World Refugee Day yesterday (Wednesday 20th June) with an open day at their offices in Catherine Street, Plymouth.

Members of the public, service users and representatives from voluntary sector groups joined Red Cross staff and volunteers to recognise the enormous contribution that refugees make to the local community.

There were fun activities throughout the day including a quiz and live music and visitors enjoyed a selection of world foods, prepared by member of the refugee women’s group.

Tanis Hogan, who arranged the day, said: “We had a great turnout for our World Refugee Day event. There was a lot of interest from people wanting to know more about the work we do here in Plymouth to help asylum seekers and refugees and to meet the teams delivering this service.

“Everyone loved the food which was cooked by some of the members of our inspirational women’s group. They were glad to give something back to the community and share a part of their culture with everyone who came for the open day.”

The Red Cross has a long-running refugee services team who see every newly dispersed asylum seeker arriving in Plymouth through its ‘Welcome Project’. All asylum seekers are visited by one of our volunteers within hours of their arrival in the city, welcoming them and helping orientate them to their new home.

David Feindouno, refugee service manager at the Red Cross said: “This Refugee Week we want to celebrate the contributions refugees make to our community. From students to GPs to restaurateurs, they have so much to offer Plymouth. Refugees show incredible resilience and optimism, despite many having been through more than most of us can imagine.”

As well as supporting refugees and asylum seekers, the Red Cross in Plymouth helps hundreds of people every year following a stay in hospital. It loans wheelchairs and other mobility aids to people following an injury or illness, and the Connecting Communities service provides support to people feeling lonely or socially isolated.

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day. This Refugee Week (18th-24th June), the Red Cross and its partners will celebrate the enormous contribution that refugees make to our communities.

To find out more about the Red Cross please visit www.redcross.org.uk