Refugee Week is a UK-wide celebration of the contribution refugees make to the country, which also aims promote a better understanding about why people seek asylum. York's annual celebration is one of the most vibrant in the country and we invite everyone to join in the volunteer-curated programme of events.

Refugee Week 2019, 17th - 23rd June: join in all or any of the events below - choose from talks, exhibitions, a football tournament, a film screening, a pub quiz and more!

  • All week: ‘Home’. Blueberry Academy art exhibition at the City Screen Sky Lounge. Free. Wheelchair accessible.

Exhibition of artwork by the learners at York’s Blueberry Academy, exploring the themes of welcome, home and what it means to be far from home.

  • All week: “Equality and Community”,  an installation at Friargate Friends Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9RL. Free

A colourful welcome of diversity and inclusion. Friargate will also provide a central welcoming space to take a break and have a cuppa.

  • Monday 17th June: Talk by Gulwali Passerlay, child refugee, author of The Lightless Sky. 7.30 – 8.30. Bootham School, 51 Bootham, York YO30 7BU. Free.

Gulwali shares his captivating story of struggle, danger and resilience and how he miraculously survived the harrowing year-long journey from Afghanistan to the UK, on his own, after being separated from his brother.

This event is free, but ticketed. Obtain yours from:

  • Monday 17th June: “Refugees, Borders and Climate Change: The Importance of Solidarity and Climate Justice”. 12 noon – 13.30 pm. Venue: RCH/037, Ron Cooke Hub, Heslington East, university of york. Free.

A talk highlighting the impact of climate breakdown and its creation of refugees, and the differences in treatment of climate change ‘migrants’ compared to traditional refugees.

  • Tuesday 18th June: “Speaking up not talking down”.  4.30 - 7.00 pm. York Medical School, 23 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW. Free. Disabled access available.

Refugees and asylum seekers will be joined by lawyers, therapists, interpreters, humanitarian aid representatives and researchers from the University of York Migration Network (MigNet) to discuss the challenges of reporting and representing the experience of persecution, trauma and finding sanctuary in the face of the enduring hostile environment of Britain’s immigration system.

Contact: and see for details.

  • Tuesday 18th June: 6.30 pm. “On Her Shoulders” [12A], City Screen cinema. Cost £8.  Members £5.

23-year-old Nadia Murad leads a harrowing but vital crusade: to find the most influential platforms in the world and speak out on behalf of the embattled Yazidi community who face mass extermination by ISIS militants. Having narrowly escaped with her own life, Nadia must now relentlessly recount her ordeal as a Yazidi sex slave and witness to her family’s brutal killings. Though excruciating, without her testimony, the genocide happening right in front of the world’s eyes might go completely unnoticed.  

City Screen is accessible to people in wheelchairs and with other disabilities. This film shows is in the original language and will have English subtitles. Book via 0871 902 5747 or 

  • Wed 19th  June: “Refugees – dispelling the myths”. 11am - 1pm. The Holgate Dining Room Extension, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX.

Speak to York St John staff and York-based agencies for an informative, drop-in event aiming to separate fact from fiction. Refreshments provided.

  • Thursday 20th June: Pub Quiz in aid of RAY, 7.30 for an 8pm start. The Winning Post, Bishopthorpe Rd, York. Donation entry (give what you can).  

Back by popular demand! Fun and social quiz for a good cause, complete with spot prizes and a prize for the winning team. Join in as a team or as individuals. 7.30pm arrival for 8pm start. Donation to enter.

  • Friday 21st June: Music night! 8 pm - 11pm, The Black Horse, 29 Monkgate, YO31 7PB. Donations welcome.

The Beams, The Rusty Pegs, Colin Cutler and others! RAY fundraiser - come along to enjoy an evening of local bands and socialising. Donations for RAY via the bucket shake are most welcome!

  • Saturday 22nd June: “Paddington” [PG]  for Kids' Club. City Screen cinema, 11.15 am. All tickets: £2.50

Arriving in London as a refugee from his native Peru with a ‘Please Look After This Bear’ label around his neck, our bewildered friend is fortunately taken in by kindly Mr and Mrs Brown. Voiced by Ben Whishaw, and named after the railway station he arrived at, Paddington embarks on a series of adventures. This charming film will delight fans old and new of the forever-popular books by Michael Bond.

Kids' Club: Exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted. City Screen is accessible to people in wheelchairs and with other disabilities. Audio Description is available for this film, and is undetectable to anyone not wearing a headset. Booking via 0871 902 5747 or

  • Sunday 23rd June: “You, me and those who came before” - Exhibition of children’s art competition, York Mosque and Islamic Centre, Bull Lane, York YO10 3EN, 2.30-4.30pm. Free.

A joyful celebration of the creativity of some of York’s young people, from local schools and youth groups, Refugee Action York and York Mosque. The winning entries will be then exhibited between Sunday 30th June and Saturday 6th July at the City Screen Sky Lounge. Wheelchair accessible.

This event is free, but ticketed. Obtain yours from:

  • Saturday 29th June: Football tournament at York St John’s Haxby Road playing fields, Haxby Rd, New Earswick, York YO31 8FY. Start time TBC, please check again. Free.

Come along and support this friendly mini-tournament between teams from Refugee Action York, York Mosque and Fulford School!





RAY maintains a hardship fund to support destitute families and individuals. The fund is used to ensure people have enough food and clothes and to enable young service users to start school with all the equipment they need. This fund is supported entirely by voluntary donations and even very small donations make a massive difference to our service users.  If you would like to give a donation to the hardship fund as part of Refugee Week you can do so here