Events for Refugee Week (20-26 June) take place at The Courtyard, Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, the Kindle Centre and larger libraries.

Meanwhile, many places across the county will display orange hearts to show their support for refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Refugee Week takes place each June and the council is marking it this year with a number of events. There will also be public displays of orange hearts, which are the national symbol of welcome and compassion. We will have a stand in High Town from 9am-5pm on Saturday 18 June. Come along for a chat and collect a free orange heart window sticker.

Launch event

All residents are invited to join in with the official launch of Refugee Week, which takes place at The Courtyard from 11.30am, Monday 20 June. Guest speakers will explain what the week is about and their personal experience of seeking sanctuary in Hereford. Visitors are free to enjoy the event’s sanctuary-themed art exhibition running 16-26 June, organised in partnership with Hereford College of Art & Design.

Visitors to the launch can also view a 20-minute, locally-made film, Shared Freedom – Shared Future. The film focuses on the contribution of Polish airmen and soldiers during World War II and their lives in Hereford.

Film and storytelling supper

The Courtyard will be screening Flee (15) and other films with relevant themes. On Monday 20 June, a supper evening includes:

  • A screening of Flee, an animation that tells the story of Amin Nawabi’s extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan
  • A dining experience allowing guests to sample authentic Syrian, Iranian and Ukrainian recipes
  • Local storytellers Temi Odurinde and Austin Keenan telling stories of refugee journeys

Proceeds from the £25 ticket sales will be donated to Herefordshire-based charity City of Sanctuary.

Free classes

The Courtyard is offering five free spaces to refugees to each of its classes during Refugee Week on a first-come, first-served basis. The classes will allow people who are new to the county to try something different free of charge. Contact The Courtyard for more details.

Online storytelling for children

A reading of Francesca Sanna’s The Journey in English and Ukrainian will be available on The Courtyard’s Facebook page from 10am, Wednesday 22 June. The pre-recorded workshop is suitable for children aged three years and older.

Talks at Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre (HARC)

Jonathan Hopkinson gives a one-hour talk about the county’s support for hundreds of Belgians displaced by World War I. Proceeds for the event at 2pm, Monday 20 June at HARC go to Hereford City of Sanctuary. Email to purchase the £5 tickets.

Meanwhile, Stuart Dove’s two-hour talk from 2pm, Friday 24 June will cover two themes. The first will explore the life of a World War I refugee who lived in Hereford and Worcestershire. The second will uncover the mystery behind a ‘lost’ artefact given to the city in 1915. The talk takes place at HARC at 2pm, Friday 24 June. Email to purchase the £5 tickets.


Throughout Refugee Week, the county’s larger libraries will prominently display books relevant to the theme.

For more information on Refugee Week, visit the official website.


Published: 15th June 2022