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It’s Refugee Week 2011
Tuesday 21st June, 2011

It’s Refugee Week 2011
Cllr David Molyneux (centre) takes the lunchtime awareness-raising quiz with visitors to the town hall bistro.

That famous Wigan welcome: it’s been extended to visitors and newcomers for centuries, and the internationally famous Mining College taught generations from all around the world. Today that building is the town hall, and officers there are keen to ensure that friendliness continues.

They are marking UK Refugee Week - an opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions refugees make to an area.

Deputy Council Leader Cllr David Molyneux says: “Wigan Borough is a welcoming and friendly place and we have a small population who have joined our community from around the world, and from oppression and fear as refugees.”

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the protocol which is the centrepiece of international refugee protection. The week’s theme is ‘60 Years of Contribution’, which involves collecting stories and case studies about the contributions that refugees have made to Britain.

This year organisers are asking people to take part in the “simple acts” campaign. These may be watching a film or reading about famous refugees, cooking a dish from another country, or even reading a book on the subject.

Cllr Molyneux adds: “Refugees have helped add to the rich variety of life in our area. This week is all about celebrating this and dispelling a few myths along the way – and there’s an open day at the Museum of Wigan Life on Saturday to help us do just that.”

The event is on Saturday at the Museum on Library Street in Wigan from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Activities include face painting, stories, beading, films, cultural games, world music, henna and African drumming.

All week, the bistro at the town all is staging a Refugee Week quiz. As ever, the Hewlett Street bistro is open to the public and the lunchtime quizzes can be played anytime from 11.45am to 1.30pm.

And if English is not your first language and you want to practice your speaking skills and meet new people, then come along to our English conversation classes:

- Every Wednesday 4.30pm - 6pm at Wigan Library.
- Every Friday 9.30am -11.30am at Leigh Library.

Other Refugee Week themed activities are being held in local schools, pre-schools, and at some WLCT play and sports sessions.

Find out more at www.wigan.gov.uk/refugeeweek

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