Refugee Week

Refugee Week is an annual event aimed at celebrating asylum seekers and refugees living in the UK.

Last updated: 6 July 2023

Next review: 12 June 2024

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About Refugee Week

Refugee Week is an annual celebration of the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Refugee Week 2023 takes place 19 to 25 June and the theme this year is "Compassion".

Find out more below about events taking place across Waltham Forest including art and creative opportunities, educational events plus the chance to access nature and support locally.

World Refugee Day- Tuesday 20 June, 3pm to 6pm

We will be welcoming families and residents to celebrate and recognise the contribution of migrants and refugees to Waltham Forest. This event is a celebration open to all including garden games, activities for children, face painting and music workshops.  

A range of support services for residents from migrant and refugee backgrounds will be available including support about education for children and adults, including English language (ESOL) and school admissions. Advice on immigration, welfare, housing, and employment will also be available.

Location: Fellowship Square, Waltham Forest Town Hall, E17 4JF. 

Please contact if you have questions.


Imagination Without Borders Exhibition 17 to 25 June, 8am to 4pm

An exhibition of stunning portraits of the Stories and Supper community by photographer Laura Martinez will be on show at Back to Ours Café during opening hours from 17 to 25 June.

Location: Back to Ours Café, Good Shepherd Studios, 15A Davies Lane, Leytonstone E11 3DR.

Please email if you have questions.

Refugees Welcome- Wednesday 21 June, 4:30pm to 7pm

A free event to welcome and celebrate Waltham Forest's migrant community with sports, games, kids activities, great food, and information. Hosted by Leyton Sixth Form College and Waltham Forest Citizens. 

Location: Leyton Sixth Form College, Essex Road, E10 6EQ.

So Far... Refugee Art Exhibition- 18 to 25 June, 9am to 7pm

An exhibition of work produced in a series of local art workshops for refugees. Come along to the opening party on Sunday 18 June from 1:30pm to 3:30pm with food, music, and art workshops celebrating the positive contribution of migrants to our world.

Hosted by Haven Coffee and Waltham Forest Stand Up to Racism.

Location: Lea Bridge Library, Lea Bridge Road, E10 7HU.

Practical Conservation at Walthamstow Wetlands- Tuesday 20 June, 10:30am to 1:30pm

Join the London Wildlife Trust team at Walthamstow Wetlands to help with practical conservation tasks to manage outdoor garden spaces. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and spend time in nature. No experience is necessary, and all tools and training will be provided. Free lunch included. This event is for refugees and asylum seekers.

Location: Walthamstow Wetlands, 2 Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, N17 9NH.

Please contact if you have questions.

Guided Walk of Walthamstow Wetlands- Tuesday 20 June, 2pm to 3:30pm

Join friendly guides from the London Wildlife Trust team to discover more about Walthamstow Wetlands. Enjoy an afternoon in nature where and see the amazing wildlife and history around the reserve, Europe's largest urban wetlands. This event is for refugees and asylum seekers.

Meeting point: Engine House, Walthamstow Wetlands, 2 Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, N17 9NH.

Please contact if you have questions.

Laff-Uccino Comedy Night- Thursday 22 June, 7 to 10:30pm

The 7th instalment of Haven Coffee’s signature comedy gig Laff-Uccino. The line-up includes special guest headliner, Nish Kumar as well as talented and funny comedians from refugee and migrant backgrounds performing for their very 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gig.

Location: 21 Soho, 3-5 Sutton Row, W1D 4NR.
Tickets: £15.40

Solidarity Story Café- Saturday 24 June, 11am to 1pm

Share stories about home, food, migration, and belonging with the Stories and Supper community of refugees, people seeking asylum, and local residents. Global snacks and drinks are provided.

Location: Peterhouse Community Centre, 122 Forest Rise, London E17 3PW.

Please contact if you have questions.

Cultivating Solidarities: School Workshops

Throughout the week creative workshops for pupils on the theme of Refugee Week will be hosted by Stories and Supper for pupils at Stoneydown and Henry Maynard primary schools, as well as Leytonstone School and Walthamstow School for Girls.

Please contact if you have questions.

Schools across Waltham Forest have also been invited to take part in the national Great Big Live Assembly, hosted by the Sanctuary Foundation with a live broadcast from a refugee camp in Jordan. It will take place on 20 June, World Refugee Day, at 9:05am. Find out more about the Great Big Live Assembly.