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We aim to nurture a welcoming environment for refugees who have fled war and persecution by raising awareness of the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers. We believe that providing the general public and students with accurate information is one effective way to counter the negative rhetoric that is often found in some sections of the media. Hearing refugees own stories and voices is essential too.( see event: Refugee Voices hosted By Exeter City of Sanctuary. Bike Shed 28.1.17  

We have an Awareness Raising working group whose members offer talks and workshops to organisations and community groups, as well as undertaking school workshops. The group is also involved in public events including TEDx Exeter, The Exeter Respect Festival and Refugee Week.

If you would like us to come and talk to your group, arrange a workshop, host an event with us or find out more about the work of ExCoS – including how your organisation might welcome and support asylum seekers and refugees then then do make contact: – Contact    

Photo:’Still Human, Still Here’ Vigil in Exeter  

 ‘Tree of Welcome’ Project

This is an ongoing project of the Awareness group which we started during Refugee Week 2016. The ‘Tree of Welcome ‘is a public display of messages extending welcome, friendship and support towards the Syrian families arriving in Exeter. Personal messages and drawings were created on Hands of Welcome by Year 6 children at Alphington Primary School and members of the public during Refugee Week. These have been added to subsequently by Yr. 6 classes at Ladysmith School and  St. Sidwell’s Primary school. The messages and images contained on the Hands of Welcome are beautiful and inspiring and offer a clear and powerful voice, which collectively welcome newly arrived refugees with warmth and compassion.

The ‘Tree of Welcome ‘will be on display at venues in the city including Exeter City Council’s offices in Paris St..

Below: Images of individual Hands of Welcome and our Welcome Tree at St. Sidwell’s Community Centre.

1.Welcome Tree at St. Sidwell's Centre (web file)

Hand of Welcome made during workshops at Ladysmith Primary schools

Hand of Welcome made during workshops at Ladysmith Primary school.