Refugee Week

Bright pink background with large rainbow coloured dots in a line.


Monday 19 - Sunday 25 June 2023

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Our world is interconnected: something seemingly “far away” impacts everyone, including our Kent community.

Let's develop compassion in action

This Refugee Week focuses on compassion, and at the University of Kent, we seek to enable people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels. We want to help our whole community to understand why people are displaced and the challenges they face when seeking safety, and develop a curious and compassionate approach to the topic of seeking refuge and asylum.

Got a question or comment about Refugee Week at Kent? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email at

Share your thoughts and photos with #KentRefugeeWeek when posting on social media.

Nine simple acts to develop compassion in action

This short video (1m36s) goes through nine simple ways to develop compassion in action with events and initiatives at Kent this Refugee Week and beyond.



The Refugee Tales & Kent

The organisation Refugee Tales, which was co-founded by David Herd, Professor of Poetry at Kent, enables writers to collaborate with asylum seekers, refugees and people in indefinite detention who share their stories. Taking Chaucer's great poem of journeying – The Canterbury Tales – as a model, writers tell a series of tales as they walk in solidarity with detainees.

The University of Kent is proud to partner with the Refugee Tales and host this Refugee Tales Trail on our Canterbury campus, inviting everyone in the community to walk through our campus, listen to experiences of detainees, and reflect together on how we can mobilise to be a force for positive change.

Explore the Refugee Tales Trail at Kent

Follow the trail across campus and listen to or read true stories of refugees and asylum seekers on your way to the Kent Community Oasis Garden, where you can pause and reflect.

Are you a Kent member of staff? Walk with colleagues as part of staff conference: Thursday 14 September leaving 1.30pm.


Gulbenkian Arts Centre

Pink Refugee Tales Trail sign outside the Gulbenkian Cafe in summer.

Start the trail at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre. If you'd like to, you can pick up a free map at the foyer desk, or simply follow the pink signs. You'll find the first arrow outside the café by the statue and tree.

Download the map (PDF)
Stop 1 - Clearing opposite Sport Centre


Footpath behind Kennedy Building with pink signpost in ground. 3-storey grey block on left, trees on right.

'Each day I felt like I was walking on a bridge made of glass.'

Read the full extract at the trail on campus, listen below, or download them all as an accessible Word document.

Listen on SoundCloud
Stop 2 - Park Wood woodland


Park Wood footpath with pink arrow sign on lamppost. Trees in background, map sign in foreground.

'My children are at school now. They do not run because in the big cities there is no space to run.'

Read the full extract at the trail on campus, listen below, or download them all as an accessible Word document.

Listen on SoundCloud
Stop 3 - Park Wood courts

No escape

Pink sign in central Park Wood accommodation area. Fingerpost sign in foreground, leafy trees and buildings behind.

'It has razor wire on its fences. It is a place designed to keep people in once they are there.'

Read the full extract at the trail on campus, listen below, or download them all as an accessible Word document.

Listen on SoundCloud

Kent Community Oasis Garden

Luggage tags with messages in coloured pen attached to wire fencing on backdrop of greenery

You've reached the end of the Refugee Tales trail. If you'd like to leave a message on our Refugee Tales fence, have a look in the box for a ribbon and key, and write your message. You can then enter the fenced area and attach your key.

Two-minute feedback survey



Professor Gurnah.

Abdulrazak Gurnah reads The Arriver's Tale

Our alumnus and Emeritus Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 for work on the 'fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents'.

Listen to him reading a true story from the Refugee Tales book series.