accessibility & help

British Red Cross to support citizens of new island as part of the Cultural Olympiad

20 July 2012

For immediate release  Friday 20 July
For further information  Samantha Whitwham (
Contact number 0117 301 2624 or 07525 128 297

The British Red Cross will be taking part in a major new arts project visiting the coast of Weymouth next week.

Nowhereisland, a piece of the Arctic that has been declared a new nation, will be coming to Weymouth and Portland as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations on Wednesday 25 July, in time to mark the opening of the Olympic sailing events.

The project has been developed by artist Alex Hartley and involves a 400 square metre ‘island’ – excavated from land mass revealed by Norway’s melting glacial ice – begin towed 500 miles around the south-west coast.

Jamie Piriou, senior service manager at the Red Cross, said: “Nowhereisland is a great opportunity to get people talking about issues such as migration, national identity and climate change.”

The island will be moored off of Weymouth’s coast from 25 July to 2 August where it will become a temporary micro-nation with its own citizens and constitution. The Red Cross is one of 20 community organisations taking part in the project.

Jamie explained: “Our involvement in the project ties in nicely with our humanitarian education and refugee services as we are already working closely with local schools and refugee groups on activities related to the larger project.

“We have supported the project from its inception, providing links and facilitating meetings with partner organisations and promoting the concept as part of our humanitarian education work with young people. In Weymouth, we will be providing first aid cover and youth facilitators for the ‘citizen’s march’ on 25 July to ensure it is safe and fun.”

The Red Cross regularly work with local schools and youth groups, encouraging young people to become more active in their communities by teaching them about humanitarian values and citizenship. The ‘Nowhereisland project’ dovetails with these principles by increasing young people’s awareness and understanding of important global issue.

The Red Cross also plays a key role in supporting vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, 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.

For more information on the work of the Red Cross and its humanitarian education programme, please visit


Notes to editors

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_West

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