What's Happening
Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Stories of Hope and Home
Enabling Encounter 2023-24

Stories of Hope and Home came into being in 2019 and our Enabling Encounter programme builds on the work we have been doing bringing together people seeking Sanctuary with children and young people, and the educators who work with them.

The participants in the project, united by their common experience of seeking asylum in the UK come from diverse ages, cultures, countries, faiths, genders and socio-economic and educational backgrounds: the creation of a safe, welcoming and mutual supportive community with and for each other is one of our greatest achievements.

It is this space that has allowed people to thrive and grow in confidence in order to participate in the outreach work, sharing their lives and experiences with others.

Our outreach work has grown considerably since we started, and we know there is demand for our work to continue, both by building on the existing relationships and with invitations already arriving from new schools who would like us to visit, Many of which are the result of recommendations from schools with whom we have previously worked.

This work feels, sadly, like it is more needed than ever. The current rhetoric in the media and political discourse often creates division and fear. While migration is one of the hottest topics of our times, most people lack access to accurate information and the voices of those with real lived experience are all too often excluded from the conversation.

The feedback from our visits has been overwhelmingly positive. We consistently hear that encountering someone who has sought asylum has transformed understanding and attitudes, in turn inspiring people to contribute to creating a more compassionate and welcoming society. The aim of these encounters is not to be a standalone event, but to invite schools to engage in an ongoing journey and it has been hugely encouraging to say the many different ways in which schools have responded following our visits.

The encounters have great value for everyone involved: children and young people, school staff and leaders, but also for those who share their stories. All the sanctuary-seekers taking part in visits speak of the benefits for themselves as well as for those they meet. Nonetheless, inviting people to share some of their most traumatic stories remains an emotionally demanding ask. We know we need to hold to our ethical principles to ensure the needs of those sharing their stories, as well as the needs of those hearing them, are met.

The group sessions where the sanctuary seekers have the chance to come together, to build community and to explore their stories and experiences; and the emotional, pastoral and practical support offered to the participants collectively and individually also remain a crucial part of our work.

For more information please see:  
Website: www.storiesofhome.org.uk
Twitter/x: @stories_of_home
Facebook: @hopeandhomestories
YouTube: @storiesofhopeandhome5073


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