Author: Rachel Gillies

Refugee Week 2021 – We Cannot Walk Alone

Refugee Week – World Music & Arts Festival
Live and Online Programme
14th – 20th June 2021

Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham are excited for the opportunity to start bringing people back together, live and in person through Refugee Week. We will be presenting our World Music & Arts Festival from 14th – 20th
June, including a live and online programme of events and creative content.

We are working with some amazing artists this year, with live performances from Didier Kisala (DRC), Germa Adan (Haiti), Nifeco Costa (Guinea Bissau), Kausary (Peru) and Bumi Thomas (Scotland / Nigeria). We have live “socially distanced” events at Centrala on 17th and Mac on 19th June, presented by TV, Film and Theatre actor Patrice Naiambana (Sierra Leone).

We have some exciting commissions to share with you by featured artists including: A live recorded performance by Kadialy Kouyate (Senegal), An original short film by Patrice Naiambana, A new painting by Eddy Aigbe (Nigeria), A workshop and performance by Rihab Azar (Syria), Spoken word and art by Ahmed Magare (Somalia), plus new music from Nifeco Costa, Germa Adan, Millicent Chapanda (Zimbabwe), Sirius B (Latvia), Didier Kisala. See the full programme below.

Monday 14th June

1pm – Refugee Week Online Launch Event
Featured Artist Commissions Showcase

Tuesday 15th June

1pm – Birmingham Opera Company & CSB Online Singing Workshop
Millicent Chapanda & Mariana Rosas

Online Featured Artists – commissions & profiles
Highlighting Commissions of new work by: Eddy Aigbe, Patrice Naiambana, Musicians and spoken word artists

Wednesday 16th June

1pm – Rihab Azar online presentation and workshop

8pm – Emerging Artists Showcase

Thursday 17th

1pm – Birmingham Opera Company & CSB Online Singing Workshop
Sherry Fatemi & Mariana Rosas

8.30pm Live Event – Centrala – Didier Kisala (Doors 7.30pm)

Friday 18th June

Online Featured Artists – commissions & profiles
Highlighting Commissions of new work by: Eddy Aigbe, Patrice Naiambana, Musicians and spoken word artists

6.30pm – Live Event – Erdington Evening of Creativity – Oikos Cafe (6.30-9pm)
Community Performances
Millicent Chapanda
Hassan Salih Nour
Limited Audience – Event will be livestreamed

Saturday 19th June

Live Event – In partnership with Mac
Refugee Week at Mac – Outdoor Arena 1- 6pm

Event 1 – 1-3pm (limited seating – admission between 12.30-1pm)
Patrice Naiambana
Community Performances
Germa Adan
Nifeco Costa & Babock Djazz

Event 2 – 4-6pm (limited seating – addmission between 3.30-4pm)
Patrice Naiambana
Community Performances
Bumi Thomas

Sunday 20th June

3pm – Online Finale Event – Performance by Kadialy Kouyate
Featured Artists – Watch again

Monday 21st June

5-8pm – Live Event – “Voices From The Front Line” – Book Launch event
Cafe Sol @ The Warehouse Cafe
Partnership with Baobab Women’s group book launch
Performance from Millicent Chapanda
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham (CSB)

CSB is a diverse music and arts organisation with a mission to support, develop and celebrate refugee and migrant artists, and to engage through community projects with refugees and asylum seekers. Formed in 2002, CSB delivers 3 strands of work: World Music Events & Refugee Week Festival; Artist Development with refugee and migrant artists; Community Engagement with refugees and asylum seekers. This event is a regular partnership with Mac in support of Refugee Week, to celebrate the contribution and resilience of refugees.

To find out more about CSB or Refugee Week please visit:

The EU Settlement Scheme Deadline is 30th June – Have you Applied?

30th June 2021 is the cut off period for applying to the EU settlement scheme. Many thousands of EU citizens across Birmingham have successfully obtained Settled Status, but there are still people out there who are yet to apply.

They could be elderly and lived here for many years, married to a UK citizen and not aware the scheme applies to them, students who arrived before the end of the transition period or children who even though born here are not automatically eligible for UK citizenship.

It is imperative that EU citizens (other than Irish) and non EU/UK family members who came to live in the UK before 1st January 2021 apply to the Settlement Scheme to secure the right to remain here after 1st July. I volunteer with the charity ‘Settled’ to help EU/EEA & Swiss citizens and their families obtain settled status.

We are asking everyone to promote EUask5. Ask 5 EU/EEA or Swiss citizens if they have applied to the settlement scheme. Then ask them and all your friends and neighbours to do the same.

If you need help to apply or more information on Settled Status or EU citizens rights post Brexit you can contact me at or call 07784 155208.

Lateral Flow Testing at home

Taking twice weekly Lateral Flow test is a quick and easy way to see if you are likely to have Covid-19. Many workplaces and educational settings are asking people to take these tests, but it’s a simple, free and convenient test for everyone to do, whatever your circumstances.

Read More

Bereavement Support

The Kindness Project is a confidential support scheme co-ordinated by The Bahu Trust aimed at helping members of the community, regardless of race, faith or background, through the bereavement process.

Our trained volunteers will offer a befriending service that delivers one to one support to adults that are recovering from the trauma and loss of a loved one and live within the Hall Green Constituency.

About the Kindness Project

During the pandemic we have carried out many community consultations and concluded that bereavement is one of the major causes of anxiety and fear in the community, especially from those who have certain rules and regulations in place which govern how they carry out a funeral from a faith perspective.

Who is this for?

If you are over 18, a resident within the Hall Green Constituency and experiencing bereavement, this service can be for you.

How do I get this help?

Go to their Contact page to see how to get in touch. We will respond as quickly as we can and start to connect you to one of our volunteers. We may also advise you on other support resources that might be helpful.

Balsall Heath’s ‘Hometown Hero’

Late last year, Birmingham resident were asked for their help in finding the unsung legends of sport in the West Midlands. From hundreds of nominations received, 10 ‘Hometown Heroes have been selected as volunteers, coaches and grafters who keep grassroots sport alive.

Read More

Celebrating communities grants

There’s still time for residents and community groups to apply for money from a £2million fund to help people in all 69 of the city’s wards feel involved with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Celebrating Communities Small Grants Funding Scheme has been assembled by Birmingham City Council to maximise the benefit and legacy of being the Proud Host City for the Games.

The deadline for round one applications is 1 June 2021.

The scheme will allocate funding across the city’s wards using a formula that takes into account local deprivation data and the size of the ward.

Celebrate the Commonwealth Games your way and apply today to receive a grant for anything between £100 to £10,000.