Rossendale Friendship Festival celebrates refugee week

Published June 20, 2019 at 13:11

Women from Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Kuwait are getting together this week at The Whitaker, Rawtenstall, to cook several hundred portions of Middle Eastern picnic foods for sampling by residents of Rossendale.

These tasting samples will be offered to participants on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd June at a celebration for UK Refugee Week, Rossendale Friendship Festival.

Refugee Week celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and aims to encourage a better understanding between communities.

Rossendale Friendship Festival is planned as a free festival for all local residents. As well as the food sampling there will be live music and dancing, and lots of free entertainment for children, including bouncy castle, juggling, face painting, henna painting and much more.

Visitors are invited to picnic in the park or try the ‘festival plates’ available for purchase.

Also to celebrate refugee week, children from several Rossendale schools children have participated in an art competition on the topic ‘Friendship’. At the festival the entries will be on display and the competition winners will be announced.

A group of volunteers including refugees from six different countries have worked hard to plan the festival alongside local volunteers and staff from The Whitaker and many will be volunteering on the day itself, as well as spending the day cooking on Friday.  Many musicians and stallholders are contributing for free and local organisations have rallied round with support.

Since 2015 the numbers of refugees coming to the UK overall has fallen but over the same period the recorded number in Rossendale has gone from zero to 144. This is because Government policy has changed so that now refugees are being required to live in areas that previously did not take any at all. This can mean refugees in Rossendale can be very isolated, sometimes with no one in the same town who shares the same language and culture.

For more information go to the Facebook event page or the Whitaker website.

Sponsors include The Whitaker, Shiva Trust, PALeisure, Fairshare and Tesco.

Filed under :

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.