People and the DALES (PaD), the outreach project of Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), will host a special ‘Walk with Us’ exhibition in Grassington Town Hall as part of Grassington Fringe Festival.
Timed to mark Refugee Week (17-23 June), the event will celebrate PaD’s tenth birthday as well as focusing on artworks inspired by or created by refugees from the groups the project has worked with.
Over the last decade, more than 10,000 individuals have taken part in PaD events including walks, lambing, tree planting, conservation work and training.
The award-winning scheme enables people that would not otherwise take part in such activities to experience the Yorkshire Dales and improve their health and wellbeing.
Groups come from nearby urban areas of Leeds, Bradford and North West Lancashire, and those taking part include people with a disability, young people, people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, individuals from deprived locations and those with mental health difficulties.
Judy Rogers, YDMT’s Community Development Worker, said: “The exhibition celebrates the wonderful people we have welcomed into the Dales over the last 10 years.
“It is an opportunity for us to connect, learn and celebrate what refugees bring to our communities through a variety of mediums and forms.
“I am really proud of what the project has achieved over the last 10 years and I’m looking forward to welcoming you all at the event.”
People and the DALES is part of Stories in Stone, a scheme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area. The scheme was developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership, is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The free exhibition, which runs from Monday June 17 to Friday June 21 at Grassington Town Hall, features stories and messages from refugees and asylum seekers, poems, details of projects inspired by PaD and its participants, a life-size refugee hut and a stunning candle display representing the people who have been forcibly displaced, as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.
Judy added: “The exhibition is the culmination of work with refugee groups over the last 10 years. All too often we hear their stories as we walk with them in the Dales. This exhibition is our opportunity to share their stories with a wider audience, to celebrate their achievements and tell a different story to that which we hear in our mainstream media, and find out what is happening in our local area to support refugees.”