25th June 2017

Refugee Week – The Great Refugee Week Picnic yesterday at Ormeau Park Belfast with Amnesty International and Belfast City of Sanctuary

Particularly delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, husband Sam and baby Fin. Nuala enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and the mayoral chain was a great hit with the children!

Lucky with the weather and the crowds passing through and mingling with those citizens of Belfast who came along to support. Pleased to see Claire Hanna MLA, Claire Clare Bailey and Emma Little Emma Pengelly MP in attendance. Our new people are their constituents, and as Asylum is a matter reserved to Westminster, Emma’s presence was appreciated. Claire Hanna as a Stormont representative has a role to play in ensuring that local services fulfil the needs of our newly arrived people needing sanctuary in a safe place.

It was truly wonderful to see the interaction between “local” people and our refugees.

Sipho Sibanda and Colin Flinn as Joint Coordinators of Belfast City of Sanctuary would like to thank our partners Amnesty International, Patrick Corrigan, Paul Hainsworth and many others. This was Belfast City of Sanctuary’s first event, and the partnership with Amnesty International was vital to the success of the afternoon.

A very special thanks from Belfast City of Sanctuary to Linda Hutchinson and Northern Ireland Housing Executive for the extraordinary help and support given with new tshirts, banners and supplies for the picnic. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive maintain important functions in housing our people under NASS (National Asylum Support Service)