#SyriatoSteep – We’ve arrived!

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By Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations

Thank you so much to all who joined in our #SyriatoSteep challenge in this final week before the half term break. We have been overwhelmed by the support and energy out there. All contributions helped us head closer to the target – we thought covering the 4,066 km distance from Idlib to Bedales in a week would be a big challenge, but with your help, we had it nailed on Wednesday. Today is our final day and we have already surpassed 6,000 kms.

At time of writing, £5,029 (including Gift Aid) has been raised for the Rural Refugee Network and John Badley Foundation, two charities helping transform the lives of people who face severe challenges, and many of whom are in extremely vulnerable situations. Thank you to those who have already generously supported. To mark our successful endeavour, we are suggesting a ‘victory lap’ and final push on the fundraising, so do please consider re-living your favourite run/walk/cycle, and send a photo to share with others (to fundraising@bedales.org.uk). And if you haven’t got round to donating, there is still time to do so here. Listen to brief videos about the two charities here: RRN; JBF.

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Rural Refugee Network Art Sale

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Home from Home is a solo exhibition of British painter Alex Rennie’s work at The Frestonian Gallery in London inspired by and in aid of Bedales-supported charity the Rural Refugee Network.

The exhibition explores the theme of a British welcome in relation to the Syrian migrant crisis. A percentage of sales proceeds will be donated to both the Rural Refugee Network and it’s partner charity Children on the Edge. The charities rehouse Syrian refugees in the UK as well as educating displaced Syrian refugee children residing in the Lebanese refugee camps.

Rather than portray explicit scenes of refugee life, Rennie has taken an alternative visual approach. The artist held a number of interviews and workshops with Syrian refugees and children that have been resettled in the UK by the Rural Refugee Network. The resulting artworks are informed by these testimonies as well as discussions with volunteers from the Rural Refugee Network about the successes they have had and the challenges they face.

Among the imagery featured are teacups, sandcastles, flowers and flags. Visual references that are quintessentially British, but also have universal appeal. The paintings were created to reflect the notion of empowerment: that of the refugees themselves, but also empowering the public to take action and to play a part in tackling the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation.

The exhibition runs for two days only, 24 and 25 September 2019 at the Frestonian Gallery in Notting Hill West London.

Please contact Dunhurst parent Julia Thistleton-Smith on julia@waughthistleton.com for further details.