Students raising refugee awareness

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The plight of refugees was highlighted by more than 60 Ilkeston students during a stay at a residential youth centre.

The year 11 students from Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy spent a week at The Briars, in Crich, where they gathered to work on their personal and spiritual development.

One of the activities which students took part in during the five-day trip was to join a Twitter campaign to raise awareness of the current refugee crisis.

Students took selfies and posted them on Twitter, letting Prime Minister David Cameron know that refugees are welcome in this country.

They held banners up with the hashtag ‘usforthem’ on them, to tell the world that it’s not us or them but instead it’s ‘usforthem’.

Students Niall Cunningham and Freya Windridge, both 15, said they had an amazing five days at The Briars.

Freya said: “We worked in small groups so it gave us the opportunity to get to know the other students in our year group a bit better and it helped us to build new friendships.

“There’s a lot of prayer time but it’s more like reflection and we talk about different issues, with the refugees being one of them. We just wanted to show our support for them.”

Niall said: “At the end of the trip you have to write down what you think about each person in the group and this is then read out to everyone.

“It really makes you think about yourself and the way you act.”