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


York Refugee Week 2018

4 May - 2 September: “The Sea is the Limit”
●    Exhibition of contemporary art responding to the ongoing issues surrounding immigration, migration, integration and borders.         Curated by artist Varvara Shavrova. Featuring interactive installations and live public art works
●    York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
●    Normal admission charge to the gallery, but free to York residents 23 and 24 June
●    More info:

15 June - 22 June: “Belonging(s)” 
●    Art exhibition which includes “Safe Shelter” by Hilly Fletcher
●    The concept of a shelter, a safe place... a HOME, is one that many of us take for granted. Consider how you would feel if the place you call home was taken from you at a moment’s notice…
●    New School House Gallery, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PW
●    Free
●    Further details:

18 June - 24 June: “Tented Dreams”
●    Exhibition of paintings by Syrian refugees from the Za’atari Refugee Camp
●    The artwork will be for sale and all monies will go directly to the artists
●    City Screen Cinema Sky Lounge, York YO1 9QL
●    Free
●    Venue details:

18 -24 June: Pop-up-pop-out at the Amnesty Shop
●   Organised by Amnesty York group and the Amnesty shop, ‘Pop out’ is a trail of 20 facts about the current situation for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and the actions we can take in response
●   42 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF

19 June. 7.30pm for 8pm start. Pub Quiz: In aid of RAY (Refugee Action York) 
●    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
●    The Winning Post, 127-129 Bishopthorpe Road, York, YO23 1NZ
●    Donation entry (give what you can)
●    Venue info:

20 June. 12.30 - 1pm. “The Sea is the Limit” by Varvara Shavrova
●    Curator’s Lunchtime Talk: Varvara Shavrova - The Sea is the Limit
●    An introduction to The Sea is the Limit, an exhibition of contemporary artists’ responses to the ongoing refugee crisis
●    York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
●    Normal admission charge to the gallery, but free to York residents 23 and 24 June
●    Further details:

20 June. 2.30 - 4pm.  Film: “Calais Children: A Case to Answer”
●    Winner of the London Independent Film Awards 2017, Calais Children: A Case to Answer follows young people over the year since they left the Jungle with interviews with Lord Dubs, volunteer groups, and lawyers
●    The film will be followed by Q&As with the director, Sue Clayton
●    TA Hall, Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR
●    Free/Donations
●    Book via the events pages:

20 June: “Spaces of Sanctuary”
●    Refugee Council and York City Church hosted event with talks, food and music to celebrate refugees in and around York
●    12- 4 PM, York City Church, The Citadel, Gillygate, York, YO31 7EA
●    Free

23 June: Nick Ellwood: “Talk: Between the Lines”
●    Artist Nick Elwood talks about his experiences in Calais and his work in the current exhibition The Sea is the Limit, followed by an opportunity to see Nick’s sketchbooks and working drawings in the Studio
●    1- 2 pm, York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
●    £10 and includes entry to the Art Gallery
●    Book via the events pages:

23 June: “Different Pasts, Shared Future”: Children’s art competition and exhibition 
●    Organised by York Mosque and featuring work by 5 to 16 year olds from York, this exhibition is a celebration of understanding, compassion and youth
●    2.30-5.30, York Mosque, Bull Lane, York YO10 3EN
●    Free

24 June. 11am – 1pm and 2pm - 4pm. Art activities: “The Sea is the Limit”
●    The Studio will be open for all to take part in art activities inspired by The Sea is the Limit, as part of YMT Residents’ Weekend
●    York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EW
●    Normal admission charge to the gallery, but free to York residents
●    Details:

24 June: Unitarian Church Service: “The Importance of 20 - Past & Future”
●     A service to mark the end of Refugee Week
●    11am -12pm, followed by refreshments
●    Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ
●    A collection will be made for RAY

Anyone can take part by organising, attending or joining in activities. To find out more about Refugee Week and how you can get involved (locally and throughout the country) simply click here. Visit our news section for announcements of other events in York.




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