This event was a joint project for Refugee Week with City of Sanctuary, Freedom from Torture (FfT) and Norwich Amnesty teaming up to take advantage of the generosity of the Bishop of Norwich in opening his wonderful gardens to charities on certain Sundays in the summer for fundraising events.
The gardens are themselves a big attraction, with their rose gardens and herbaceous borders, and with old trees and the cathedral in the background. The excellent catering facilities were taken over by the FfT team who served tea and cake – more than fifty home-made cakes were consumed during the afternoon – and Salah al Nagar’s Egyptian street food stall was extremely popular. The large lawns gave ample space for book, plant and information stalls as well as children’s games and a storyteller. The Hawk and Owl Trust provided telescopic views of the nest of peregrine falcons on the cathedral steeple.
The weather was fine and music lovers were able to sit in the open and enjoy the singing of the talented Flora Pechey, accompanying her own songs on the guitar, the excellent Sonrisa close harmony group and the brilliant kora-playing and singing of Sefo Kanuteh from Gambia. An estimated 450-500 visitors enjoyed the event, and with the aid of a raffle with generous prizes donated by many local organizations, a total of nearly £4000 was raised.
The money raised will be shared between the three organisations. Norwich City of Sanctuary will allocate the funding over the coming year to support projects involving local asylum-seekers and refugees.
Report by David Huband, Chair of Amnesty International in Norwich