Refugee Week was very different this year and we were sorry not to be able to celebrate it in person with our wonderful supporters and the amazing, resilient, generous refugees and asylum seekers we work with every day. Instead we focused on giving voice to some of those we support to express their creativity and describe their experiences during coronavirus.

We were delighted to work on this hugely positive double page feature in the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star telling the stories of five refugees carrying out vital key worker roles in Suffolk during the coronavirus crisis, including a care worker who stays at the end of her night shift to chat to elderly residents who are lonely during lockdown. We also featured twice on BBC Radio Suffolk talking about how the last few months have affected refugees and asylum seekers, alongside Adib, whose supermarket has been supporting the community by delivering supplies to vulnerable people. You can hear the full piece here [3:07:45 in] and a shorter version here [1:25:50 in].

In order to give voice to more of our clients, we asked for their thoughts on life, the future and a post-Covid world, and we were deeply moved by some of the messages, and impressed by the creativity – you can see the results on our online wall here! We were also excited that Maria, who we support, featured in this Refugee Week piece in the Metro newspaper. Maria has been creating beautiful handmade face masks for women.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to all those who joined us for a Refugee Week quiz via Zoom and made the evening such fun, and everyone who engaged with us on social media, sent us lovely messages and helped to make the week a true celebration of all that refugees contribute to our communities here in Suffolk. Next year we hope we can spend time with you in person – until then, thank you!