We welcomed trumpeter Paul Bilson's groovy five-man band to the Refugee Council this week and got to get down and boogie to their Ghanaian-inspired Afro-Jazz. The kids lapped it up and famed dance-man extraordinaire, Joe Jakes (Head of Youth Development at the RCUK) himself brought some serious moves. As always, a great time was had by all and these musicians are keen to return and remain allies for the inspiring young people who rely on the Refugee Council Children's Section for support. All in a day's work :)
Torrential rain can't stop us! In spite of the downpour, our last class of the term was just as high energy as always and we wrapped up with an over the top sugary spring feast. The truth is, though, that we don't very much like holidays, because it means we don't get to see our young people. We so wish we could see them every day...
In any case, happy long weekend everyone!
Ensuring that we are always reaching out to more refugee communities living in London is incredibly important to achieving our mission of combatting the isolation that so many vulnerable teen refugees face. Our friends at the British Red Cross put a lot of love and time into running their Refugee and Befriending (RNB) session every weekend. During these sessions, they welcome other organisations to come in and give the kids a taste of what they do. This weekend it was our turn! We brought some jazzy grooves in the form of our very own voice-sax-piano trio, and lots of noisey games to get the silliness flowing. A great time was had by all! See how you can volunteer with the British Red Cross and support or be part of their sessions at https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer
Highlights from our fab time at Orchestras for All London Modulo at Cecil Sharp House last week! We enjoyed a day out playing in an orchestra with 9 of our amazing young people and 8 of our top notch tutors ❤️🌍🎵💪 #musicforall #integrationstation #music #youth#AlliesInArt
"Your voice is powerful" - such an important message for our young #refugee students direct from actor Tas Embiata when we stepped onto Shakespeare's Globe Globe Theatre famous stage as part of February's outing. By asking our students to consciously feel their power on the stage, chances are they will continue to ask themselves to feel it throughout the world['s stage]. Yet another example of how our active incorporation of #AlliesInArt throughout our work is both crucial and effective.
Here's the first glimpse of the stage from our students' POV. *gasps* were heard, and repeated exclamations of "wow" "amazing" piqued their curiosity and the countless "so interesting!"will surely lead to them continuing to explore/consider in their own way literature, the stage, history, and confidence.
Got an idea for an outing for us that you could help make possible? Get in touch!
Big thanks to the Adam Glasser Quartet for bringing South African township #jazz to Refugee Council Children's Section in #croydon for our once monthly #AlliesInArt series! Kids had the chance to properly chill out, jam, and dance about. Much needed #respite #groove #allforoneandoneforall vibes. Thank you!
Check them out at www.adamglassermusic.com
Simon Roth Music Arthur O'Hara Raphael Clarkson
Get in touch if you'd like to bring your band to participate in this series!
This week we attended Counterpoint Arts' Refugee Week Conference at Amnesty International's headquarters and were encouraged by all of the conversations we had with fellow refugee support groups (arts-focused and otherwise) who met to discuss 'what ELSE can we do.' While Refugee Week is a positively brilliant mechanism for ensuring that celebrating refugees and their contributions is built into the calendar, we should be sure to remember EVERY that week is refugee week. Here's to connecting further and working together to ensure that ALL rights are preserved and all humans are celebrated.
See what you can do to celebrate and support refugee communities for #RefugeeWeek and every week.
Alyson and Anna were encouraged by the turn out and quality of discussion at last night's panel at University of Oxford's Somerville College. The two PFP Co-Founders joined Lord Alf Dubs, Ishamel (the first young person to be brought to the UK in safety following the Dubs Amendment), Beth Gardiner-Smith (of Safe Passage UK), Emma Reece (UNICEF UK), Tajmeet Gorwarah (refugee and Oxford student) and representatives of the Oxford City Council as panellists. The discussion was geared towards how we can better effect systematic change to ensure that we harness and encourage the power of public opinion, which favours the welcoming of more vulnerable people into the UK, and provide better and more comprehensive services for those who make it here.
We are excited to announce that on Feb 1 at 5pm, Founders Anna Mac and Alyson Frazier will contribute as panellists for Somerville College University of Oxford's discussion on child refugees and the power of education.
The evening will begin with a talk by Lord Alf Dubs, campaigner for refugee rights, and follow with a panel discussion hosted by:
Alyson Frazier and Anna MacDonald (Play for Progress)
Beth Gardiner-Smith (Safe Passage UK)
Tajmeet Gorwarah & Ishmael (students)
Bob Price (Oxford City Council)
Emma Reece (UNICEF UK Government Relations Adviser)
Alyson and Anna are determined to enroll even more allies in our support of young refugees, learn more about what our colleagues are doing and see what we can do to help them, and add to the positive dialogue that will ensure that creative/music education and therapies are better harnessed to combat isolation and build communities for vulnerable young people.
If you'd like to attend, you can find ticketing details here:
TORCH - The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
The founders, Anna and Alyson