As we reflect on what has been such a difficult year for so many millions of people worldwide, Art Refuge has continued to focus on the offer of solidarity, compassion and hope to those who are displaced from their homes by conflict, persecution and poverty, and those seeking refuge.
For people seeking asylum in the UK, dangerous routes to sanctuary are still the only option for the vast majority, while the hostile environment continues to cause significant distress to so many people on either side of the English Channel.
Our art therapy-based work supports the mental health and well-being of all people who are displaced, by making room for safety, community, creativity and resilience in the face of pain and hardship. We do this by providing group art spaces such as The Community Table model. We offer opportunities for human-to-human connection through our similarities and our differences. In the most challenging times, our work shows that art can offer space for reflection, imagination, hoping, coping and meaning-making.
Our core programmes in Calais, Folkestone, Paris and Bristol offered mental health and wellbeing support to several thousand adults and unaccompanied young people, with additional collaborations and projects in Dunkirk, London, Brighton and Eastbourne, and training for hundreds of frontline workers.
With 2023 drawing to a close, we also want to express our deepest gratitude for your invaluable and ongoing support. With your help, our first 2 Big Give campaigns raised almost £20,000! We also secured both restricted and unrestricted funds from new sources. We look to 2024 to be able to further develop our work with young people in England, and over the winter months in northern France.
This takes place as part of a growing coalition of organisations working for a kinder, fairer, more effective approach to supporting refugees, through #togetherwithrefugees
Please continue to follow Art Refuge, share posts, discuss the issues, and join us as we collectively work towards a fairer, more peaceful and safer world in 2024.
WITH HEARTFELT THANKS AND NEW YEAR GOOD WISHES FROM EVERYONE AT ART REFUGE!