Starting tomorrow our wonderful city will be holding its very own Refugee Week, with a dazzling range of exciting events taking place all over town. You can find out more about the event on, but in short it’s a UK wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

You can find a full list of events you can get involved with on the Hull City of Sanctuary website, but we just wanted to share some of the amazing stuff that you can see right here on the university campus.

Until 24 June 2018

Food and toiletries donation drive

Drop-off points: Arts Café, Zucchinis, Derwent Café, Zest, The Library Café, FACE Student Hub

 To support refugees and asylum seekers in Hull, colleagues are encouraged to leave donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries at drop-off points around campus. These donations will be passed to Open Doors, a local organisation offering guidance and material aid to sanctuary seekers in the city. Please leave your donations by 24 June 2018.

Saturday 16 June – Sunday 1 July

Photography exhibition “Spaces of Sanctuary”

Brynmor Jones Library (Ground Floor), University of Hull


The exhibition tells the stories of ten women who have sought refuge or asylum, or who escaped following being trafficked into the country. The photographer, Joanna Vestey, has depicted the visual representation of the space where these women felt safe and found sanctuary, but the stories also highlight the significant challenges the women faced in coming into the UK. Also showing as part of the exhibition will be the film “Birth With Sanctuary” by Emilie Flowers, in which some of the women featured in the exhibition talk further about their experiences of becoming mothers.

Sunday 17 June

Sanctuary Football Match

3G Football Pitch, University of Hull Sports Grounds, Inglemire Lane

11:00 – 13:00


More information available here.

A football match involving refugees, asylum seekers and University staff, followed by refreshments and awards. Free to attend and open to all.

Thursday 21 June

Theatre performances “The Middle Sea” by Platform No.1, followed by “I am Mehdi Ahmadi” by Theatre on the Edge

Donald Roy Theatre, Gulbenkian Centre, University of Hull



Tickets available here or  via 01482 221113

“The Middle Sea”, a new play by Robert J Bell in association with Open Doors and Platform No.1, offers a glimpse inside a packing case in a container on a boat where home is history and the future uncertain…

 “I am Mehdi Ahmadi” tells the story of one refugee’s journey from his home country to Hull. It looks at his reasons for leaving, the difficulties of his journey and his experiences of settling down in a new and strange community. The final script of the play is based on in-depth interviews between the playwright, Barrie Wheatley, and Mehdi Shahini, a Hull refugee. The play, which will include drama, physical theatre, music, dance and multi-media, has a cast of experienced performers and Hull based refugees. After the show there will be a Q and A and feedback session. 

Friday 22 June

Sanctuary in Education

Brynmor Jones Library (The Observatory – 7th floor)

16.45 – 19.00

Free tickets available here.

This free event explores the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, the issues they face, and the role universities can play as places of sanctuary. Part of the University’s Refugee Week activities, the event will feature a screening of the film ‘Science in Exile’ and live music from local sanctuary seekers. There will also be a number of talks from University students, staff and others who will share their experiences of life as a refugee or discuss their work supporting those seeking sanctuary.


16:45 – Live music, film screening of “Science in Exile”, refreshments

17:30-19:00 – Talks

– Human Rights and Asylum – Niaz Shah, Reader in Law

– The Importance of Language – Martin Nickson, Talking Hull coordinator, with University ESOL students

– Keeping Sanctuary Seekers Safe – Charlotte Russell, Wiseman Scholar

– Sanctuary in the City – Steve Ibbetson and Jayne Mercer, Hull City of Sanctuary (including presentation of University of Sanctuary Award)

– Sanctuary in Education – Professor Glenn Burgess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Theatre performance “I am Mehdi Ahmadi” by Theatre on the Edge

Donald Roy Theatre, Gulbenkian Centre, University of Hull



Tickets available here or via 01482 221113

See further details above (21 June).