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june 2021

17jun6:30 pmSeeking Sanctuary - a history of refugees in Britain” - SOLD OUTPart of Refugee Week 2021


Event Details

Thursday 17th June 2021

6.30 – 8.30 pm.

The Chapel in the Garden

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5.00 for children available online here

or you can buy from Bridport TIC on 01308 424901

Bridport Refugee Support Campaign present “Jane Marchese Robinson – Seeking Sanctuary – a history of refugees in Britain”.

As part of Refugee Week 2021 the Bridport Refugee Support Campaign is delighted to bring writer and historian Jane Marchese Robinson to Bridport to talk about her book “Seeking Sanctuary”.

Jane will be discussing the book and the inspiration behind it with former BBC Foreign Correspondent Martin Dawes.

“Seeking Sanctuary” explores the history of people looking for refuge in this country. It starts with those protestant refugees fleeing oppression and persecution from Catholic Spain who ruled the Netherlands in the 16th century. It traces successive waves of peoples in the context of why they fled. At various times this was due to religious persecution, political upheaval, war and ethnic cleansing.

The book has been inspired by the work Jane undertook with refugees and asylum seekers in Plymouth as well as a personal discovery. It was only after her mother’s death in 2004 that she delved into her grandmother’s history and found that she had been one of the 250,000 Belgian refugees who fled here when the German army over ran their country in 1914.

Uncovering her grandmother’s history meant learning about the fascinating story of those thousands of refugees who sought sanctuary here in the First World War.

After graduating from Birmingham University in Economic and Social History Jane spent some 30 years as an advocate for marginalised groups including the homeless, people with disabilities and mental health problems and latterly refugees.

She had always loved writing, but it wasn’t until 2010, when she finished working full time, that she could become fully committed and undertook the MA in Creative Writing at Plymouth University. An historical novel set at the time of the Boer War ensued.

Martin Dawes is a former BBC Foreign Correspondent in Africa and International spokesperson for UNICEF in South Asia and West Africa. Since returning to the UK he has published on the causes and consequences of the West Africa Ebola outbreak and how the Covid-19 pandemic will change international aid.  He lives in Sidmouth with his wife Alison and when not trying to write a novel he plays a lot of tennis.

The event is raising funds for the Bridport Refugee Support Group – a group of local residents who have got together to help a refugee family settle in Bridport and rebuild their lives.

More information about the group, and how you can help, can be found on the BRSG website.


(Thursday) 6:30 pm

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