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What a day we had. Even the sun shone from time to time, but somehow even with heavy downpours, spirits were high as people kept arriving. We also recruited new members. The high winds which had been predicted did not happen. We’d had to cancel a Bouncy Castle and a large marquee due to the doom and gloom forecast.
Belfast City of Sanctuary through this picnic at the end of Refugee Week has clearly built up a reputation for welcoming people to an afternoon of food, Chinese dance, Indian drummers, music and the closing act, Tumble Circus.
The food as usual catered for all tastes and summer fruit was set out in a separate marquee. Quaker ladies provided cakes and biscuits
The face painters were really busy all afternoon. The Bouncy Castle didn’t appear to be missed.
We made new friends, and one notable feature was the inclusion in our band of hard working volunteers of new arrived refugees seeking asylum and young people from Diverse Youth. That is precious to us at Belfast City of Sanctuary.
Councillor Michelle Kelly, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast honoured us with her presence, speaking about the City Council passing a motion to make Belfast a City of Sanctuary. We look forward to working with the Council to ensure that Belfast is welcoming, safe and inclusive for all.
Belfast City of Sanctuary wishes to acknowledge funding from the Big Lottery Community Fund, UNISON, NIPSA, UNITE, Fire Brigades Union, Ulster Teachers Union. We thank Belfast City Council and NI Fire & Rescue Service, Amnesty NI and Ballynageigh Community Development Association for their continues generous support.