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Young people celebrate Refugee Week with poetry slam

10 June 2013

For immediate release  Monday 10 June, 2013
For further information  Samantha Whitwham (
Contact number  0207 877 7463 or 07921 493 560

A poetry event, organised by the British Red Cross, will showcase the creative talents of local young people and celebrate the positive contribution that refugees bring to the Thames Valley Area on Thursday 20 June.

The event, at Milton Keynes Academy, is being held to mark this year’s Refugee Week (17 – 23 June) which highlights the contribution refugees make to life in the UK through a series of cultural and educational events.

The poetry slam brings an exciting opportunity for schools pupils to examine the world around them, confront popular misconceptions about refugees and asylum seekers, and better understand why people seek sanctuary.

Local poet, playwright and storyteller Yaw Asiyama will also be performing his latest story ‘Asibi Asibi. Girl, Stolen’ – a moving tribute to the tragic story of a girl trafficked from Ghana to England.

The guests of honour are Milton Keynes Poet Laureate Mark Niel, who will be reading a poem written especially for the event, and the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr Brian White.

Rose Haines, Red Cross service manager for refugee services, said: “This is going to be a fantastic event and we’re all really excited about hearing the poetry created by the young people. We are also very grateful for the support and contributions of Yaw Asiyama and Mark Niel.

“This event is a great way to talk about the positive contribution that refugees make to life here in Milton Keynes and throughout the UK. This is an exciting opportunity for people in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area to come together as a community for an interesting and important cause.”

The British Red Cross plays a key role in supporting vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers and helping them settle in to UK life. This can include projects to help people find out about life in the place they are living, as well as volunteering and learning opportunities which may lead to employment. The service also assists destitute individuals with the provision of short term practical and emotional support.

The Poetry Slam begins at 7pm at Milton Keynes Academy, Fulwoods Drive, Leadenhall, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Tickets to the event are free and can be downloaded at

To reserve a ticket or find out more about the event please contact Suzy Elliott ( on 01908 578 323.

And follow all the latest Refugee Week news and events on Twitter by searching #RefugeeWeek.


Notes to editors

If you would like to send a photographer to the event, please contact Samantha Whitwham on 0207 877 7463 or

The British Red Cross is part of the coalition supporting Refugee Week 2012 – which also includes Amnesty International UK, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Children's Society, Refugee Action, Refugee Council, City of Sanctuary, Scottish Refugee Council, STAR (Student Action for Refugees), Freedom from Torture, Welsh Refugee Council and British Future.

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Follow us on Twitter: @BRC_Southeast

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