Refugee week is here! The theme for 2019 is you, me & those who came before. It’s an invitation to explore the lives of refugees (and those who have welcomed them) throughout the generations.
People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in Birmingham for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us.
In the First World War, Belgian refugees were given sanctuary at Uffculme in Moseley – the Belgian Consulate remains on the Pershore Rd to this day.
In the 1930s, Jewish children were brought to the UK via the Kindertransport. In Birmingham, teenagers were given training and apprenticeships as well as accommodation to help them build a new life, including at Fircroft College which today offers adult education.
Following the Second World War, Polish refugees came to Birmingham to escape persecution by the Soviets. Millennium House in Digbeth is now a hub of Polish culture, including a restaurant.
These are just a handful of the generations of refugees who have come to our city and have helped change it for the better. Let’s make sure we keep welcoming future generations!