This month celebrates 20 years of Refugee Week, and our friends at St Chad’s Sanctuary are busy finalising their events’ programme.

The national festival of Refugee Week runs from Monday 18 June to Sunday 24 June, and this year marks 20 years of celebrating the enormous contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees.

St Chad’s Sanctuary was founded by Sister Margaret Walsh and brings hope, peace and safety to many recently arrived in our city.

From a simple idea back in 2010 of a cuppa and a welcome to refugees and asylum seekers, it has grown into an invaluable service, especially to those who have become destitute.

The Sanctuary occupies a four-storey building on Shadwell Street, and is supported by St Chad’s Cathedral, the Salvation Army and a huge number of volunteers and benefactors.

Staff and volunteers of St Chad’s Sanctuary can assist up to 500 people in a week with everything from handing out clothing and food to providing welfare advice and English classes.

In celebration of Refugee Week, the Sanctuary family have organised the following events. Please support if you can.

Sunday 17 June: The Refugee Choir are performing at the Ikon Gallery (Yorks Cafe from 3 - 3.30pm).

Monday 18 June: English through Song are inviting others to join them for an open session of singing together in the Grimshaw Room, St Chad’s Cathedral, 3pm.

Tuesday 19 June: "Coming Together" celebration. Meet at Carr’s Lane Church (B4 7SX) at 4.30pm to join a scratch choir: singing together is a great way to build community! Or come along from 6 - 7pm for performances of poetry and song.

Wednesday 20 June: The celebration of the Sanctuary Stories project, in which Sanctuary students and volunteers recorded their oral histories to add to the museum collections. At the Edwardian Tea Rooms at Birmingham Museum from 4.30 - 6pm.

Saturday 23 June: Celebrating Sanctuary at the MAC and City of Sanctuary's Picnic in the Park. The musical entertainment starts at 12 noon with a performance by the refugee choir and continues until 6pm. The picnic is due to begin at 1pm. All welcome for any or all of the time!

To find out more about the amazing work carried out at St Chad’s Sanctuary please visit

Picture caption: Volunteers at St Chad's Sanctuary