Showing Compassion in words and actions in Refugee Week 2023
Kindness or compassion is one of the key propellers that puts the ‘BBA Way’ in motion as its four key strands are Kindness, Positivity, Resilience and Curiosity. This link is very strong with Refugee Week, which this year has compassion as its underlying theme.
Refugee Week is a festival celebrating the contributions and creativity of refugees or people seeking sanctuary. This week is marked every year in the month of June, and specifically this year from 19th – 25th.
Students at BBA are frequently reminded of what ‘sanctuary’ means, having embedded a number of actions and practices throughout the two years in which they have been officially recognised as a School of Sanctuary. Refugee week therefore offers another opportunity for us to channel our focus on members in our community that may be less fortunate than us and that may be looking for a helping hand or a kind gesture of welcome.
BBA reflected on how our local communities respond to the arrival and settling in of refugees and asylum seekers. With so much daily coverage in the news, staff members focused in on how asylum seekers had been housed in the Long Eaton area where hotels were temporarily offering them a place to stay. Unfortunately, the results are not always positive, with the media highlighting protests by local residents who showed their disapproval and lack of support.
This led to speaking of negative behaviours with a group of year 7 and 8 students to find out what they thought. We asked ourselves: what leads the population to have negative thoughts on sanctuary seekers? How can we change public opinion? How can we express our solidarity, especially during refugee week?
Together, we decided to capture our thoughts in kind messages that will be delivered to the Long Eaton hotels. Each of the students involved wrote a personal letter to lift the spirits of individuals who may be going through a very hard time, while missing family and friends that they have left behind. In one student’s words, ‘Compassion is important because we all may have times when we need help. I show compassion to others when I know they are in need, and at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy we belong, believe and achieve. No matter where you are from, no matter what you look like and no matter who you are related to, at BBA we accept anyone and everyone that wants to belong’
Words that encapsulate a strong message that comes from the heart, something we concluded costs so little, but which can go a very long way to showing welcome and friendship to those that may need it most.