Hartlepool refugees and asylum seekers enjoy ‘Everything British Party’

Asylum group volunteer Mary Barrett is joined by the Mayor Coun Rob Cook and Mayoress Brenda Cook at the groups Everything British Party held at St Josephs Church Hall.
Asylum group volunteer Mary Barrett is joined by the Mayor Coun Rob Cook and Mayoress Brenda Cook at the groups Everything British Party held at St Josephs Church Hall.

Refugees and asylum seekers in Hartlepool got a taste of British life when they came along to a party inspired by the country’s values.

Organised by volunteers from the Hartlepool Asylum Seeker and Refugee Drop-In group, the event called the Everything British Party aimed to teach British values and traditions to those coming to the country from places all over the world.

Asylum group volunteer Mary Barrett is joined by the Mayor Coun Rob Cook and Mayoress Brenda Cook at the groups Everything British Party held at St Josephs Church Hall.

Asylum group volunteer Mary Barrett is joined by the Mayor Coun Rob Cook and Mayoress Brenda Cook at the groups Everything British Party held at St Josephs Church Hall.

The event, which was held at St Joseph’s Parish Hall in Hartlepool on Monday, saw around 100 refugees and asylum seekers turn out to enjoy British food, entertainment and games.

Volunteer Mary Barratt, said she was pleased with the success of the event, which she organised along with Peter Gowland and volunteers Angela and Michael Tivinan.

She said: “We organised the event to teach British values and celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

“The party featured a Punch and Judy show, folk dancing and British games like pass-the-parcel.

“We also had traditional British party food like ice cream and jelly and scones.

“I got involved with the group a few months ago after I saw on television all these people who are being forced to leave their homes.

“I thought there is nothing I can do for them, but I can do something for those people who are here now.

“There are some wonderful people in Hartlepool who have become asylum seekers and refugees after coming over here to escape danger.

“They are waiting to see whether they will become British citizens.

“I just wanted to help some of the people who are leaving their homes, so got involved with the group and decided to organise this party to help them learn British values.”

The Hartlepool Asylum Seeker and Refugee Drop-In group offers advice and guidance; a hot meal and refreshments for refugees, as well as household goods and clothing.

Volunteers also deliver presentations on subjects such as healthy eating and provides information from other partnering organisations.