The Higgins Bedford Celebrates Refugee Week 2019

Published on 18 June 2019


The Higgins Bedford is joining Bedford Central Library, The Place Theatre, A Different Brew Café and other partners to celebrate Refugee Week 2019.

Refugee Week is a national programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees in the UK. There will the chance to discover stories of displacement, explore the lives of refugees and the people who welcomed them through the generations, all around this year’s theme of ‘You, Me and Those Who Came Before. ‘

Refugee Week launches in Bedford at The Higgins Bedford with live music, talks, poetry, creative workshops and stalls on Saturday 15th June from 11am-4pm.

Saturday 15th June also sees Urumuri commemoration for the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, and the opening of ‘Kwibuka Rwanda- Remembering Rwanda’. The exhibition, developed by Dr Julia Viebach and Pitt Rivers Museum, looks at the many memorials marking the sites where the genocide took place.

Later in the week, The Higgins Bedford is hosting a Knit-a-thon. On Tuesday 18th June from 11am- 4pm, crafters are invited to come along and meet other like-minded people to knit and crochet items such as hats, socks, gloves and blankets for refugees across the world. All items will be distributed by the UK charity ‘Knit for Peace’. To register interest or to support the event with some knitting, please contact Gemma Hutton via email at gemma.hutton@bedford.gov.uk

Then on Wednesday 19th June, members of the public are invited to bring in and share stories about the objects that have been brought by themselves or their family members from their home countries in the You, Me and Those Who Came Before Pop-Up Museum. Objects can include recipes, cookbooks, toys, scarves, hats, photographs and more. This event is free for all to attend, from 11am – 3pm at Bedford Central Library.

On Saturday 22nd June, celebrate National Windrush Day and Bedford's Windrush Generation with a day of face painting, music, folk songs, dancing, dominoes, food and Windrush stories. The Windrush Family Day and Global Kitchen will be held at A Different Brew Café from 12pm to 5pm and is free to enjoy.

Also on Saturday 22nd June, get involved in ‘This Noisy Isle’, an outdoor treasure-hunt style performance for 7-11 year olds and their families, inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This interactive adventure explores the refugee crisis in a new and inventive way and gives viewers the chance to solve puzzles, meet mysterious characters and more. To find out more or to book tickets, please visit: www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk

Finally, it’s game on at Family Football Funday on 23rd June! Enter your team and test your skills on the pitch in a free five-a-side football tournament at Russell Park. Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, will present prizes to the winners.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said “Refugee Week is a great opportunity to come together as a community, and hear stories and discover more about people who have come to the UK. This year there are also so many chances to get involved, with our Knit-a-thon for charity, a new exhibition, music, workshops and chances to get creative.”

To deliver Refugee Week events, The Higgins Bedford is working in partnership with BRASS (Bedfordshire Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support), Bedford Central Library, A Different Brew Café, Urumuri Association, Arise In Bloom, Nubian Teachings, Friends Of Refugees, Urban Adventures (Natures Gifts), B.O.L.D (Bedfordshire Opportunities for Learning Disabilities), Spun Glass Theatre, The Place Theatre, Creative Arts East, The Garage Norwich and Arts Council England.

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