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Penrith to host exhibition on the experience of refugees and asylum seekers

Penrith to host exhibition on the experience of refugees and asylum seekers

[P]enrith and Eden Refugee Network is pleased to announce that Escape to Safety, is coming to Penrith and will be open to the public on Wednesday 8th November.

This multi-media exhibition enables visitors to experience the kinds of situations and treatment that many refugees and asylum seekers endure as they try to escape from war or persecution to seek a safe place of refuge.

Escape to Safety is being hosted by Ullswater Community College for two weeks starting the 30th October. All pupils from UCC will have the opportunity to experience the exhibition and other local schools will also visit during the fortnight. Escape to Safety has already been used by almost 100 schools across the UK. One secondary school student who visited stated “Brilliant – makes you feel what it’s like to be a refugee” and another commented that the experience “changed my mind about refugees.”

Residents of Penrith and Eden are warmly invited to attend the open community event at UCC on the evening of Wednesday 8th November between 4pm and 8pm. This will be an informal drop-in session and no booking is required. Visitors will be encouraged to stay and discuss their reaction to the exhibition but the whole experience takes about 1 hour. As some of the content is quite harrowing, it is not appropriate for very young children but alternative activities will be provided so that parents are able to participate.

Escape to Safety was developed by Global Link, a Lancaster based Development Education Centre. It is a multi-media exhibition that provides visitors with a unique experience of asylum-seeking as they walk through 8 rooms which represent different stages of an asylum-seeker’s journey to find safety in the UK. Visitors listen to a soundtrack on a personal MP3 player of refugee voices as they describe their experiences and interact with various officials.

Sarah Wilson, Co-ordinator of Penrith and Eden Refugee Network, said: “Experiencing this exhibition helped me to realise how many different countries refugees must escape from and what harrowing stories they have. It made me appreciate my own freedom to think and speak out without fear of persecution or torture to me or my family.

“Penrith and Eden Refugee Network is a small group of local people guided by the principle of our common humanity. We aim to support refugees and asylum seekers by helping them to participate and belong in their community and to become self-reliant.”

Please contact Ali Ross on [email protected] for more information or to offer help.

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