On Wednesday 22 June, Andy Slaughter, Member of Parliament for Hammersmith and Shadow Minister for Human Rights came to visit Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College students in celebration of Refugee Week. The ‘Refugees Welcome’ event was organised by student ‘Refugees Welcome’ group who invited a range of organisations and charities to come in to speak on this important issue.
Alongside Andy Slaughter MP, other speakers included; Jake Leyland from Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), a charity currently working with displaced people and refugees in France and Greece. CJ Bowry from Sal’s Shoes, a charity that distributes children’s shoes to refugee camps in Northern Iraq and Syria and other countries and Katie Pedder from Refugee Support Network who work with young unaccompanied asylum seekers to support their education.
Andy Slaughter MP had this to say: “This borough, like many other councils around the country, has said that we are willing to take refugees from Syria and from other places to settle families here. We must continue to both celebrate what migrant, refugees and asylum seekers bring to society culturally, and to the economy, and to everything else in this country. And we must continue to pressure people in power, like myself, to ensure that we live up to the expectations of all of you and most of my constituents, so we continue to build what I call a great society where everybody can feel that they can live freely and can express themselves and that they’re welcomed here. I hope that’s been the case for many of you.”
The event was a true celebration of multiculturalism; ESOL students wrote and performed a poem called ‘Refugees Blues’, and the college’s ESOL Young Choir performed songs about refugees’ experiences. A writing competition about refugees was also held and prizes were given to the winners.