This year, more than 90,000 pupils and teachers across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex took part in A Day of Welcome, an annual day of solidarity and learning in schools that aims to build a culture of welcome and understanding for refugees and asylum seekers.

Co-led by Dr Jeannette Baxter and Jake Brown (Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary), A Day of Welcome has run since 2018 and this year saw the largest engagement by schools and educational communities in the region. The Day’s activities, lessons and assemblies, which are developed by Baxter, Brown and local educators, allow schools to engage their pupils with the complex issue surrounding migration. The aims are to:

  1. Build understanding of the experiences and contributions made by refugees and asylum seekers, past and present, locally and globally.

2. Uncover and celebrate little-known stories of refugee migration

3. Support and signpost Refugee Week events, which pupils, family and staff may wish to participate in.

This year, the resources for schools were inspired by the stories of the Basque Child Refugees who sought sanctuary from fascism in the East of England during the Spanish Civil War. These stories were first captured in Havens East – – a National Heritage Lottery Funded project led by Jeannette Baxter in collaboration with Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary, Refugee Week, Amnesty International and UNHCR.

For more information about the Day of Welcome initiative, please visit: