UK - FOLKESTONE
PSYCHOSOCIAL ART GROUPS SINCE 2020
Since our work in northern France has been curtailed by the Pandemic, Art Refuge has shifted its focus to the UK side of the English Channel. Working alongside other local and national NGOs we have offered trauma-informed arts based psychosocial groups in a few settings, largely supporting men who are newly arrived to the UK, currently housed in the Napier Barracks and accessing community-based support.
This work is carried out by core members of the Art Refuge team. Collaboration with local artists, poets, photographers, activists and volunteers has been integral to the work which has taken place on a weekly basis since Spring 2021. We have also started to explore the role of 'Smell as Home' in this setting, working closely with Emanuela Maggioni, psychologist and research fellow from UCL, and to deliver trainings in key aspects of psychosocial work for frontline workers. The work in Folkestone is largely funded through kind donations from the public and small trusts.
Developing a new relationship with Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) is leading to a parallel project in which we can support young people who are finding their way through the asylum system and accessing educational, mental health and wellbeing support. This includes photographic workshops and walks led by artist Aida Silvestri.