The theme of Refugee Week 2021, ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’, was an invitation to extend a hand to someone new. Refugee Week also has links with the Jo Cox Foundation Great Get Together who suggested that a socially distanced walk together would be a safe way to create new connections and reflect on the journeys that refugees face. With this in mind, David Raikes and wife Carla Rapoport suggested the use of their gardens at Treberfydd as a base for HBTSR to have a ‘bring your own’ picnic and to share a walk to Llangorse lake on 30th June.
Adil Gatrad, refugee and supporter of HBTSR made the necessary preparations and supporters were joined by a small group of people seeking sanctuary in Newport. Refugee support worker at the Sanctuary Project in Newport, Sarah Croft drove up with the group and explained how helpful the trip was. ‘ We really looked forward to being somewhere different amongst friends, old and new, and to being in the countryside. Trips like these bring great benefit for people’s mental health and are something good to look back on during the dark days of waiting upon Home Office decisions or coping with bad news from home countries.’
The walk was led by David Raikes and Gez Richards who made the outing educational and fun. We learnt about the importance of Oak trees in the British landscape, in the environment and building. We saw Albert’s tree, a rare specimen, that was stunted over 50 years ago by David’s horse Albert taking a large bite from the growing tip and visited Llangasty church built in its present form by David’s great great Grandfather. Then we strolled across the fields to the bird hide although most sensible birds had disappeared upon hearing a cheery socially distanced group making its way there!
It was a day of brilliant sunshine, a lovely way to reconnect with friends and to share time together. Thanks to David, Carla, Gez and Adil for making this possible