A SPECIAL refugee week event will take place in Harwich for the first time following the installation of the town’s Kindertransport memorial.

The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust said it will be holding a Refugee Week event for the first time in memory of the thousands of Jewish children who arrived in Harwich alone in the months before the Second World War erupted.

The event will take place on Friday, June 23, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, following an initial gathering around the Kindertransport Memorial statue – Safe Haven – on Harwich Quay.

In Harwich, which was the first and main point of entry for thousands of unaccompanied Jewish child refugees, there will be a series of creative activities focused on life stories, books and poems by, about, and for child refugees.

Debbie Patterson Jones, chairman of the trust, said: “The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial Learning Trust is honoured to play a part in this year’s Refugee Week with a programme of activities inspired by the memorial statue installed on Harwich Quayside last September.

“Bringing together school children, local and wider communities and organisations, this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the themes of compassion and kindness in saving the lives of so many child refugees.”

The event will include a tribute to trust director Graham Crame, a veteran of many humanitarian aid convoys for Hope and Aid Direct.

The trust is also collaborating with a group of volunteers, consisting mostly of qualified and experienced educators, specialised in primary schools education and holocaust education.

A spokesman added: “It is a pilot event where we are inviting some local children to attend workshops that aim to highlight the plight of refugees with references to the past, but looking to the now, encouraging compassion through creative activities of art, poetry and craft.”

An exhibition, opening at 6pm, will be held in The Red Box, run by local creative professional Rachel Matthews, as well as in other public spaces in Harwich.

The events have been supported by The Electric Palace Cinema, The Harwich Arts Festival and Harwich Town Council.