Working in Autumn 2016 with support from Heritage Lottery Foundation and artists from Create Studios, 20 pupils from 3 primary schools across Swindon researched the moving story of 300 Belgian refugees being welcomed and supported in the town during WW1. The local community raised the equivalent of 2m to care for them. The year 5-6 pupils were able to learn more about current refugees and asylum seekers through Create’s partnership with The Harbour Project and their City of Sanctuary campaign. The pupils made a film to share their reflections on Swindon’s role as a host town over the last 100 years.
The Primary school pupil’s research took them to visit the Local Studies Collection at Swindon Central Library and they explored everyday life in WW1 with Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Their journey of discovery was shared in film and photography.
The Safe Haven project was part of A Portrait of Swindon exhibition based at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Due to Safe Haven's warm reception we are now holding a follow up exhibition at the Swindon Central Library from the 2nd May - 31st May 2017! It also follows our 100 stories project, a previous WW1 media initiative supported by HLF for young people delivered by Create studios in 2015. The 100 stories website holds films, a documentary and the images captured as well as the 100 Stories blog, documenting the timeline of events that took place during the project.