A year ago we held our first Resilience Festival as a response to needs emerging from Covid-19. We knew there was an urgent need for all our members, volunteers and staff to recharge from the challenges of the pandemic, and long periods of lockdown and isolation. We wanted everyone to have a chance to participate in positive activities that supported our wellbeing and connection – strengthening our resilience as individuals and as a community. Last year the majority of activities were online, running from April 18th until Refugee Week in June with a varied programme including mindfulness, music, art, dance, story-telling, creative writing, gardening, walking and even bingo. For this year’s Resilience Festival, which ran from June 19 to July 14 2022, we wanted to build on what went well and what we could do better, with more outdoor and face to face activities. You can read more about the festival, find resources and ideas, and see the full festival booklet here.
We’re delighted to say that the 2022 Resilience Festival was a huge success! By the numbers, 170 Migrants Organise members participated in over 40 activities (online, face to face and outdoor). Activities ranged from picnics and walks, to arts and music, to a reading group, self-care bingo and so much more. Our Resilience Festival party, where we celebrated our community and the volunteers who helped make this festival possible, was attended by 131 people!
Spotlight on: Resilience Festival Activities
The Resilience Festival was an opportunity for our members to speak out about resilience, for volunteers to support our work in solidarity and for us to build connections between our ongoing resistance and resilience.
Collective care was a big theme. During the festival, we distributed care packages and postcards to 30 women in temporary accommodation, ran weekly wellbeing videos and trainings, and held workshops ranging from hand and nail care, to Tai Chi and mindfulness.
We held group activities, like walks in the park where one of our members said “I really enjoyed coming here and seeing you all and walking with you all. Otherwise I don’t have anyone to meet or talk to and it gives me more happiness and positivity!”
We also brought music and art into the centre of our time together, by organising interactive concerts online, inviting writers to discuss their work during our lunchtime reading group, organising a playlist to reflect our musical diversity, and holding workshops about how music can help us regulate our emotions. Many of our members also participated in the nature photography competition that we ran through the festival, and the winners were celebrated at our Resilience Festival party.
Thank you for making this possible!
We are grateful to all our members, staff and volunteers who participated in this festival and made it a space for collective care and joy.
The Migrants Organise Community Programme works with around 550 migrants and refugees and their families every year. We provide a combination of advice, advocacy, training, mentoring , and group activities that create a safe and welcoming environment for our community members.