Students & Sanctuary Seekers highlight the importance of Safety & Welcome in Swindon

Students & Sanctuary Seekers highlight the importance of Safety & Welcome in Swindon

December 2018

Students & Sanctuary Seekers highlight the importance of Safety & Welcome in Swindon

swindon city of sanctuary

On Tuesday 11th December, 4:00pm-5:00pm, at Drove Primary School, teachers from Drove Primary School and artists Rachel Pryor and Nicky-Ann Walker will discuss  the inspiration for the new mural, The Journey to Safety and Welcome, now hanging in the entrance of the school. They’ll also explain how it came about as the result of a unique collaboration between children at the school and members of The Harbour Project Art Group.

Safety and welcome in Swindon mural

Begun during Refugee Week earlier this year, the work is part of an ongoing collaboration between Drove Primary School and Swindon City of Sanctuary through its Schools of Sanctuary work.

Schools of Sanctuary began in Yorkshire and there are now Schools of Sanctuary in Wales, Ireland and many English cities and towns. Here in Swindon, eight schools are working towards this nationally recognised award.

A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.

Artist Rachel Pryor said her work at The Harbour Project made her very mindful of just how important safety and welcome is:

“In our art group, people often talk about home. They come to the UK with no network of friends or family and can wait a long time for a decision on their asylum claim. It’s unbelievably tough. Art can help express some of those feelings of loss, which are often better expressed in a visual language. “

She added:

“I was so impressed how the children helping had thought carefully about the things and people they would miss if they became refugees. Developing empathy and compassion is such an important part of our human development whatever age we are.”

It is a sentiment with which Cristina Bennett, volunteer Schools of Sanctuary lead, agrees:

“Schools of Sanctuary is all about embedding a culture of welcome and inclusion for everyone in the school – teachers and teaching assistants, non-teaching staff, pupils and parents. That’s why this mural is so special. It features the work of every single year group, from nursery through to Year 6, as well as the work of our Harbour Project friends. We hope it will inspire all who see it to think more deeply about what welcome means, to reflect on how we cannot take any of our freedoms for granted and, to think about our actions in welcoming people who are new to our communities.”

This event will also give teaching colleagues and friends the chance to share, informally, their own School of Sanctuary work since the launch on 17th January 2018.

 

About Swindon City of Sanctuary

Swindon City of Sanctuary fosters a culture of welcome, inclusion and support for everyone in Swindon, with a focus on those seeking sanctuary.

In practical terms, we do this by bringing people and organisations together, providing support through projects, running community events, raising awareness and campaigning for social justice, thereby contributing to the wider, national movement that is City of Sanctuary.

Social Media

The Harbour Project: https://www.facebook.com/TheHarbourProject/

Swindon City of Sanctuary: https://www.facebook.com/SwindonCOS/

 

Photo credit

1. Mural of The Journey to Safety and Welcome – created by Rachel Pryor and Nicky- Ann Walker in collaboration with Drove Primary School and The Harbour Project Art Group.

Event: Vegan gourmet evening with Eggelicious

Event: Vegan gourmet evening with Eggelicious

Event : Vegan gourmet evening

I think this looks to be an interesting - and delicious evening

Event: Vegan gourmet evening with Eggelicious

Vegan gourmet evening with Eggelicious

I think this looks to be an interesting – and delicious evening. In fact I KNOW it will be delicious because I’ve already tasted some of it.  Not that I am a vegan – nor have any intention of becoming so. In fact I’m the polar opposite. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to this event.

What do vegans eat? I’ve often wondered I won’t lie. According to the website for the vegan society:

So what do vegans eat?

A great deal – you’ll soon find a whole new world of exciting foods and flavours opening up to you. A vegan diet is richly diverse and comprises all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses – all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that will ensure you’re never bored. From curry to cake, pasties to pizzas, all your favourite things can be suitable for a vegan diet if they’re made with plant-based ingredients. Check out our vegan recipes for ideas.’

And that is the point behind Ash Mistry, Eggelicious head honcho, putting on this event.  Swindon, lovely multi-cultural Swindon, is blessed with a plethora of ethnic supermarkets. In these stores you will find a magical array of vegetables and pulses with which you can great a great variety of vegan delights with no need for ‘special’ ingredients.

The critical information part

When: The Eggelicious Vegan Gourmet evening is on Saturday 24th of November. It starts at 6.30pm to 7.30 pm. Staggered entry for each guest/guest – the idea being to allow time to get acquainted.

You have free parking on our loading bay up on the roof of the Brunel Centre.

The evening begins at the entrance where you will have to give a secret password at the barrier.

Once you have parked on the allocated space you will be picked up and escorted to the Eggelicious Gourmet Evening.

On the evening we will have ‘A show and tell’, of the world vegetables, you are about to eat, so you have some references, if you ever wanted to buy from the Asian Delis, of Swindon.

There are nine fantastic courses for you to enjoy – so be hungry. We also have music and are fully licensed for the evening. The whole evening should be around 2.5hrs to 3hrs long.

There is a strong interest for this private event. To reserve a secured place , please leave a deposit at either of the Eggelicious outlets. The cost is £45 per person and you will be given a ticket and a free parking guide for the event.

NB: Eggelicious are on Wood Street in Old Town and in The Crossing in the Brunel Centre.

Contact

Eggelicious contacts

So now. with no further ado, to whet your appetite, I’ll post the menu and some pictures of what you’re likely to be enjoying.

The Menu

Menu 1

 

Menu 2

The Dishes

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Event: The Journey

Event: The Journey

Event: The Journey

When does this journey take place?
9th December 2018 at 12pm and 4pm

Event: The Journey

This event looks like being epic. Though not as epic as the journey it sets out to portray: that of Joseph and the pregnant Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

They had to travel 90 miles to the city of Joseph’s ancestors: south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem. That was one gruelling and dangerous trip. It’s fair to say that this journey around Old Town won’t be quite so long nor anything like as arduous. But it promises to be an incredible experience.

When does this journey take place? 9th December 2018 at 12pm and 4pm

The Journey

The Journey

Welcome to an immense, immersive theatrical telling of the Christmas story.

A processional performance will unfold throughout Swindon Old Town, this Christmas.

Never before seen ‘behind the scenes’ access to the characters we are so familiar with, will reveal the true nature, the faith and the fearlessness, of those who were chosen to birth and raise Jesus Christ.

Meet Mary, the teenage bride, betrothed to Joseph and mysteriously pregnant. She risks shame, heartbreak and a painful death. Revealed are Joseph’s innermost thoughts. How can he understand the nature of Mary’s pregnancy? How will he find the strength to stand by her? Now forced by an occupying power they must make the impossible journey together, throughout the length of a nation, anyway they can.

This is a story of survival, courage, love and faith against all the odds.

‘Our creative team are keen to highlight how these circumstances reflect the difficulties faced by the refugee community and ask people to just consider that this is still happening today.  *See also David Bent’s Movement 2000 for resonances with what this performance is all about.

We are doing this by creating a huge number of people that will join the principal cast as they move down Bath Road and up Wood Street, to mirror those images seen in the media during the refugee crises of recent years.’

The Journey’s artistic director is Anna Friend of the Quirky Bird Theatre and the executive producer is Daphne Hardwick produced of the ever-popular Old Town autumn fayre at Christchurch.

Follow The Journey on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oldtownjourney/

To register for your ticket visit www.oldtownjourney.co.uk

To get involved email info@oldtownjourney.co.uk

Get your ticket for this free event here. And below is the route of the journey.

The Route

The performance will begin at Lethbridge Primary School and then proceed along Avenue Road, Bath Road, and Wood Street, culminating at Christ Church for our finale.

Route Map - public

GETTING INVOLVED

If you’d like to get involved in this performance and be more than a bystander – here are some FAQs:

Can I bring my children?
Yes! We would love families to be part of this. Unfortunately we cannot have prams or pushchairs but babes in arms, toddlers and older children are very welcome!


How long will we be needed?
There are two performances, one at 12 and one at 4pm. We envisage that you will be needed for 30 minutes to complete the walk each time, but it could take longer, depending on the size of the group.


Will I need to provide costume?
Kind of…we would like you to wear dark clothing and make sure you are all warm! Shawls and blankets wrapped over shoulders would be great. Nothing brightly coloured, think middle eastern. We would also love if you could have bags with you but don’t worry if not – just you will be fab!


Do we need to rehearse?
Yes, a little bit. You will need to pop along on the 30th November to Christ Church Old Town at 8pm to register and meet Anna Friend, our Director who will talk you through the performance and your part in it. Children do not need to come along on the 30th, just parents! Then on the 2nd Dec we will have a full walk-through of the performance beginning at 12pm so we will need you then.


Anything Else?
No, that’s all, we are so glad you would like to join – please spread the word, we are looking for hundreds to be part of this one moment of the performance.


All you need to do now is confirm you will be involved by emailing info@oldtownjourney.co.uk

The journey of the Magi – T S Eliot:

 

 

 

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Event: The Full Monty at the Wyvern

Event: The Full Monty at the Wyvern

The Full Monty at the Wyvern

Event: The Full Monty at the Wyvern

The Full Monty

The tragi-comic Full Monty began life as a 1997 (yes – THAT long ago!) British comedy film set in Sheffield, Yorkshire with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, The film starts with a travelogue of a 1972 Sheffield and tells the story of six unemployed men – four of them former steel workers. The men decide to form a male striptease act  (à la Chippendale dancers – remember them??) in an effort to raise enough money to:

a. Get out of Sheffiled

b. Enable Gaz, the main character, to get access to his son.

Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they will go “the full monty“—strip all the way—hence the film’s title.

The Themes

A comedy it may well be but the film tackles difficult subjects.  We now have a different political and working landscape – the old concept of the ‘job for life’ died with the wholesale destruction of first the steel industry and then  the mining industry. Yet, the underpinning themes of unemployment, father’s rights, depression and suicide, impotence, sexuality, body image and working class culture remain relevant and still have something to say. Arguably more than they ever did.

The Full Monty Play

Buy your Full Monty Tickets here: https://swindontheatres.co.uk/Online/tickets-the-full-monty-swindon-2018

I was intrigued to see how this stage production would play out – see what I did there? The backstory to the Full Monty is my heritage. I come from a mining area not so very far from Sheffield. My ex-husband was a miner. My daughter grew up in the middle of the 1980s miner’s strike. Indeed her first word was ‘picket’. True story. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/picket )

So I know this world first hand. And I even have an amusing anecdote involving an RSJ beam. But that’s best kept for the memoirs.

The film, so far as I can recall, behind its comedic aspects, conveyed well the desperation of these people’s lives. Everything they knew, had known for generations, and were fiercely proud of, was gone. They had to adjust to a whole new reality. One where women were no longer full-time housewives and mums, but had jobs -albeit often it was low paid cleaning/shop work etc – while the men were unemployed. As it says in the programme ‘The Full Monty captures that moment when a way of life that had seemed eternal was gone for good.’

If I have a critique of this stage production, it’s that I don’t think one gets enough of a sense from it, of how very awful it was for those people in that part of England, back then. ‘A lot of men were wandering around lost, not really knowing what was going on, not just with their life but with their city.’ (Simon Beaufoy – playwright). That may well be because I’m still, 30 odd years on, too, too close to it all. I guess too it’s the nature of the beast – the confines of a stage production as opposed to the broad brush of a film. Or a little of each. I’m not sure.

In rehearsal

But that does mean the play is not worth seeing? Hell no it doesn’t! Does that mean I didn’t enjoy the production? No – absolutely not! I most surely did.

It’s fabulous, raucous, mildly raunchy, potty-mouthed fun.  YES – there’s lots of swearing as befits the setting and the subject. It really wouldn’t work at all delivered in received pronunciation

The staging rather neatly dealt with the film’s opening travelogue – I liked that. There’s lots of laugh in it – and goodness knows we need a reason to laugh eh? For those familiar with Victoria Wood’s work there’s a familiar face too. This is a great night out with a story that is sad and funny, yet ultimately uplifting as the central characters begin to come to terms with their new reality and get to do their performance.

 But – the question on everyone’s lips is surely: ‘Do they actually do the Full Monty?’ Well – that would be telling eh? So if you really want to know – buy a ticket and go see it. It’s a great night! 

Buy your Full Monty Tickets here: https://swindontheatres.co.uk/Online/tickets-the-full-monty-swindon-2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The consultant offers a full suite of IT support services to SMEs in Swindon and beyond. He’s able to offer remote support to any business concerned about online security during lockdown and beyond.

A word about our sponsors

When I’m not being Born again Swindonian and writing Swindon-related books I offer proofreading, editing and writing services as AA Editorial Services.

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Event: Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

Event: Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

10th August 2018

Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

Akcess fun day August 19th at Coate Water 
Akcess fun day August 19th

Akcess Medical NEPTS transport

They say you wait for one bus then three come along – well that’s just what’s going to happen when the team at Swindon-based transport company Akcess lay on a bumper fundraising fun day.

As part of the festivities at the event, which takes place at Coate Water on August 19, visitors will be asked to guess the combined weight of three vehicles. The vehicles are from Akcess CIC, a not-for-profit community transport company, and its sister company Akcess Medical, which operates hospital transport.

As well as guess-the-weight, there will be everything from fun fair rides to tombolas and sweet stalls, displays, and old-fashioned races like egg-and-spoon. There will also be a raffle, with local business people generously donating prizes ranging from Swindon Town tickets and swimming lessons, to chocolates and Bluetooth speakers.

All the profits from the event, which starts at midday, will be split between Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Uplands special school in Swindon.

Organising the fun day is Akcess Medical’s crew manager, Tracey Mason.

“Originally, we were going to run a fun day for staff, as we employ about 200 people across the businesses, but then we decided to open it up to everybody who wants to come along and to help charity at the same time,” she said.

“We picked Uplands as we provide transport for a lot of the children to get to and from school, and for school trips, and they are really wonderful. Wiltshire Air Ambulance fits with Akcess Medical, although our ambulances are firmly on the ground!”

Tracey is still looking for people who want to run stalls or displays at the fun day. To get in touch or for more information email info@akcess.co.uk or call 01793 855550.

Event: This is our town

Event: This is our town

13th July 2018

Event: This is our town

Prime Theatre wins major support for new Swindon history play called This is our town.

Prime Theatre this is our town

Prime Theatre has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £27,000 for an exciting new performance project based on Swindon’s people & places at the turn of the century.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project ‘This is Our Town’ will allow young actors & writers to partner the town’s heritage organisations & create live & digital performances & exhibition.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the nine-month project begins with a major production at STEAM museum at the end of July,

’This Is Our Town’, brings to life figures & events from between 1903 & 1913. After this first production, new young writers & historians will be able to join another creative project with digital stories & an exhibition in the autumn.

Celebrating the award, Prime’s Associate Director Emma Barr said: This is a fantastic opportunity for Prime Youth Theatre and any actors, producers, writers, researchers, technicians and directors between the ages of 10-17 to develop skills alongside professionals while learning more about local heritage. In our research we have come across dramatic stories and visionary people, giving us plenty of reasons to be proud of our town.’

Cast member and young writer, Jenna said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the history of Swindon. Getting to be involved with both the writing and the performing has been so interesting and so much fun!’

Prime Theatre will support up to 150 young participants from across Swindon to get involved with heritage professionals from Swindon Local Studies archives, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, STEAM Museum, Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre & Swindon Heritage.

The show features William Morris, editor of the town’s newspaper, then called the “Swindon Advertiser and Wiltshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire Chronicle”. Other glimpses of history include suffragette Edith New, James ‘Raggy’ Powell the Swindon Councillor and philanthropist and events such as the tram crash of 1906.

Daryll Moody from Swindon Local Studies said: ‘We are proud to be involved in this fantastic project, which will allow Swindonians to step back in time and glimpse life in ‘our town’ a century ago. We always welcome the opportunity to share the treasures of the Local Studies collection with the widest possible audience.’

‘This is Our Town’ will be performed at STEAM museum on Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July at 7pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm. Tickets at £7 are available through the Wyvern ticket office on 01793 524481 and www.swindontheatres.co.uk

 

TIOT poster