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An Awesome Gallery of Work

“An awesome gallery of work”.  So wrote one appreciative visitor to the Digital Museum in the Glass Works last week.

They were commenting on the art and craft work of pupils from seven Barnsley schools, done during Refugee Week in June.

As the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Sarah-Jane Tattersall said last Friday during her visit: ‘The pictures are amazing, they teach us so much’

Prize winners were presented with certificates by the Mayor on 30th September 2022

Both the Mayor and the Leader of the Council, Sir Steve Houghton engaged with other visitors and it was evident to all that not only was the work of a high standard but that some of the children had experienced traumatic events in the recent past.

Flickr Site Showing Art Work

Other children showed exceptional awareness and understanding of their new friends fleeing war and destruction and it was humbling.

The theme of Barnsley being a safe and welcoming place was also picked up by more than one observer on the comments sheets that were completed

‘This work is essential to dispel myth and misunderstanding around asylum seekers and refugees, the children have a thing or two to teach us’

Fran Postlethwaite, Chairperson of Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary, the organisers of this event, thanked Barnsley Museum Service for all their technical support in the success of this event and rightly praised the children and teachers for their work.

Sally Philburn, Director of Schools of Sanctuary, Barnsley stated she was thrilled with this initial event, as part of a programme that will, offer every school in Barnsley, the opportunity to become a school of Sanctuary over the next 3 years.

The prize winners will be meeting the Mayor on September 30th in the Town Hall.

A school art competition around the theme of ‘Welcome’, showcasing all that Barnsley has to offer was on display in Barnsley Museums Digital at The Glassworks from Monday, 1 to Sunday, 7 August 2022. Seven schools from across the borough plus visitors to Barnsley libraries have taken part in the competition, which coincided with Refugee Week, submitting outstanding pieces of art, poems and music that highlight why it is a special place to live.  Children were asked to think of ways to welcome refugees through their work, what would make them feel at home and what they thought people would want to know.Winners of the competition are included in the digital exhibition and will meet the Mayor in September 2022 to be presented with an award.

The competition has been led by the Barnsley City of Sanctuary, an organisation who welcomes and supports refugees arriving in Barnsley.

“Come to Barnsley and you will see

A vibrant market with smells of the see

Come to Barnsley and you will hear

A ball hit the net and Oakwell cheer”

Councillor Robert Frost, BMBC Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “The people of Barnsley are extremely warm, welcoming, generous and caring and this exhibition shows this perfectly.  We are extremely proud of the children’s artwork which captures the magic of our wonderful borough and what a great place it is to live, work and learn.  This is a wonderful project in educating young people about how we can support refugees in our communities.”

Worsborough Common Primary School won a special commendation for their  book of 52 poems

The competition was sponsored by Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary and the National Education Union.