Hundreds of local faces to light up Norwich Castle to mark refugee week

Hundreds of local faces to light up Norwich Castle to mark refugee week

Hundreds of local faces to light up Norwich Castle to mark refugee week. - Credit: Archant/Norwich Refugee Week

A giant image featuring the faces of hundreds of local people is to be projected onto Norwich Castle to mark the start of a week of events celebrating Norfolk as a place of sanctuary.

The large-scale projected artwork, made up of people who all passionately believe that Norfolk should be a place of welcome, will light up the city landmark for three nights starting from 8pm on Friday as part of Norwich Refugee Week.

Artwork by local children will feature in the outdoor exhibition.

Artwork by local children will feature in an outdoor exhibition. - Credit: Norwich Refugee Week

Norwich Refugee Week, which runs from June 11-20, aims to celebrate the diversity that new communities bring to the city and promote a better understanding of how and why people become refugees.

The launch day also includes 120 schools taking part in a day welcome event sharing little-known local histories of refugee migration.

Claire Wood, of the Norwich City of Sanctuary team, said: “Because of the Covid we have only had six weeks to plan but the castle projection will be very visual and will help get the message across." 

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Refugee week was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Local charity New Routes and Norwich City of Sanctuary have found creative ways to allow people to get involved safely in the week of events in 2021.

Artwork produced to mark Norwich Refugee Week.

Artwork produced to mark Norwich Refugee Week. - Credit: Norwich Refugee Week

It includes walking tours, an online webinar exploring how the pandemic has impacted the lives of refugees and asylum seekers and a community bike ride.

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Other events include an outdoors exhibition of artworks created by local artists and children. The railings of St Peter Mancroft will showcase over 50 artworks that incorporate the campaign’s symbol of hope- a love heart. 

On Saturday, June 12, members of Norwich City of Sanctuary will be on hand next to the railings informing interested members of the community how to get involved in the ‘City of Sanctuary’ movement.

Throughout the week, New Routes will be also leading a fundraiser - Welcome Wheels Rolls On - to raise funds to ensure an existing initiative, Welcome Wheels, continues to provide bikes to local sanctuary seekers. 

Welcome Wheels recipient Rosa.

Welcome Wheels recipient Rosa. - Credit: New Routes

Since 2018 the initiative has provided over 300 bikes.

How to take part in Norwich Refugee Week

Art on the Railings
St Peter Mancroft, June 11-20
Norwich City of Sanctuary’s outdoor exhibition on the railings of St Peter Mancroft Church will feature poster art contributed by artists and creatives from the local community, in support of the national campaign #TogetherWithRefugees. More info & how to submit:

New Routes football 7-A-Side Tournament
UEA Sportspark, Tuesday, June 15, 7.30-9.40pm
With the Euros on it’s the perfect time for a multinational kick-about. The regular New Routes football group will be hosting a fun-filled tournament. Teams should have a minimum of seven players and a maximum of 10 players. The tournament is free to enter for teams from the asylum-seeking/refugee community; there is a suggested donation of £10 per team for other teams. Players of all abilities and ages are welcome. Email

Welcome Wheels Ride-Out
Bicycle Links, King St, Norwich, Saturday, June 19, 10:30am
The third annual Welcome Wheels community bike ride. Meeting at Bicycle Links to set off at 11am for a picturesque route around Trowse and Whitlingham. It will aim to cycle for around an hour (distance depending on the weather and how people are feeling) before making its way back to Whitlingham Barn to finish for cake, coffee or a pint!

Hundreds of local faces will feature on a giant projection on Norwich Castle over three nights.

Hundreds of local faces will feature on a giant projection on Norwich Castle over three nights. - Credit: Norwich Refugee Week

Norwich City of Sanctuary Trail
Follow the two mile walk around the medieval streets of Norwich, which takes in the many museums, theatres, cafes and schools who have joined the Norwich City of Sanctuary movement. It’s been designed to show how many places support the message of Norwich being a welcoming city for all.Download the route on online at

Sanctuary During the Pandemic
Wednesday, June 16, 12-1pm
This UEA event will address the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the lives of refugees and asylum-seekers. Drawing on observations from refugee camps in Greece and networks in Norwich, the speakers will discuss how the pandemic context has affected the provision of sanctuary support. Follow this link on the day at:

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