News & Events of 2016



SATURDAY DEC 10th from 11am – 3.30pm

at The White House on the Dartington Estate

We are organising a day out for women & children from Plymouth. We will be making seasonal gifts and cards out of natural objects or re-cycled materials.

If you would like to take part or can help us on the day with food, or facilitation the smooth running of the day, please contact Wendy Stayte



The Integr8 Project

designed, co-ordinated and led by Saif Ali, has held in 2016 two series of 7 week workshops with people seeking asylum and refugees based in Plymouth, who then link with local people from the Totnes area for collaborative, cross-cultural communication workshops held at White House on the Dartington Estate, with support from the Dartington Hall Trust and local food-support volunteers.  Intergr8 works innovatively to empower refugees and asylum seekers and help them integrate into their host communities and start a positive life and work experience.   Contact: Saif Ali

Singing for Refugees

Singing for Refugees will be singing in Civic Square,Totnes, 11.0am on May 14th, raising money for refugees in Calais.

Open Arms Festival in Totnes
In Support of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The festival runs from May 13th to May 22nd in and around Totnes, raising funds for local refugee support initiatives, highlighting debates around the subject and showcasing the literature and music of exile and immigration from around the world.

See full information here (PDF)

The festival are looking for volunteers on May 13th – two people to take tickets, and four people to serve drinks.

For further information, please contact Anna Lunk –

News of further arts/crafts workshops at Dartington White House: 

A workshop will be held on April 9th for refugees and asylum-seekers from Plymouth together with local volunteers, enjoying a variety of crafts together, with lunch and children’s activities.

This workshop is now fully booked. Others are planned for May and June.

Anyone interested in taking part in this series of workshops, please contact Fiona Green at:


Request for donation: 

Large cooking pots would be welcome for using at these activity days, which will involve cooking together for large numbers of people. Anyone with large spare pots to donate, please let Sonja Hughes know at :



The story since December 2015 how the crowdfunding donations have been spent

This is our first update informing you of what we are doing with the funds raised by the Crowdfunder appeal held in December in collaboration with The Dartington Trust and Embracing Refugees.

Click here to go to our Crowdfunding Update page.

Join us for a walk on Saturday 12th March

Would you like to join a small group of refugees, asylum seekers and Totnesians for a walk on  Saturday 12th March? We are catching the Cremyll ferry over to Mount Edgecumbe to explore the gardens….. and back again!

There are a few spaces left. If you are interested, please contact info@

Donations Welcome – Luck of Birth

Amongst the complexity of this tragic situation in Europe, our goal is very simple – to get meaningful aid to the people who are now European Refugees.

Read about the work we’re doing here (opens PDF to view) or go to our Facebook page.

You can donate here – any amount will make a difference and will go directly to the refugee crisis. Thank you!

Request for Assistance:

Can you help?
Driving on 27th Feb

On Feb 27th we are running a workshop at White House, which we hope will be the beginning of a series of workshops.

We need help with providing transport from Totnes station to White House, at around 11am and returning at around 4.30pm. We are especially looking for help from anyone who has a child seat in their car.

Also, donations of unused tins or half-tins of coloured emulsion paint, and materials for rag-rugging or knitting wool for same purpose all welcome, and any other art/craft materials for children.

If you can help, please contact Wendy –

News & Volunteering Opportunities at White House

Recent update on renovation:

“Another fantastic day yesterday with volunteers at White House so thanks again to all those that could help. We made a good start on the communal areas downstairs giving the kitchen and utility room a good clean and starting to get paint on some of the walls.


Request for volunteers for painting:

In order to get all the main jobs finished, next week we are going to have 2 volunteer days:

  • Tuesday 23rd Feb 10:00 – 12: 15 and again 14:15 – 16:30
  • Thursday 24th Feb 10:00 – 13:00 and again 14:15 – 16:30

If you can come on either of these days, please bring old clothes that you don’t mind wearing whilst painting.

Request for volunteers for workshop:

Saturday 27th February – Welcoming Refugees and Asylum Seekers

We also have the first White House Workshop for Asylum Seekers and Refugees happening on Saturday 27th February (poster attached). Wendy and Fiona who are organising this event would really appreciate some more volunteer support e.g. providing lifts for people from the train station and helping with cooking/ serving lunch, and with running the activities.

If you think you could help let Wendy Stayte [] know.

The late call-out for help with this event is because a much larger group of asylum-seekers and refugees are hoping to join us on that day than originally anticipated, which is very welcome.

Upcoming Events:

From Syria With Love: Come and join us for an art exhibition of drawings created by Syrian children living in a refugee camp in Lebanon.


There will be speeches and a presentation by Baraa Kouja and Ahmed, a Syrian Refugee who worked for the UN in Syria at 5pm on Saturday 20th February.

The exhibition has been organised by Baraa Ehsaan Kouja, a Syrian student at the University of Exeter, and Alison Williams, and sponsored by Totnes Citizens UK

There will be around 50 prints of drawings and paintings made by Syrian refugee children aged 12-18 currently living in Al-Abrar refugee camp in Lebanon. Some of the works reflect the trauma that the young people have experienced, while others are more hopeful and optimistic.

“There is now a lost generation of Syrian children – children who are losing their education, who have been forced to think about war and destruction rather than peace and love” Baraa said.

“These paintings show something of the awful reality that Syrians have endured, but also their dreams. I have lived in Exeter for a year, and have met many wonderful people working for the relief of refugees, both at the university and in the town. This exhibition complements that work by showing the real experiences of real refugees”.

Alongside each picture, as well as the title and the name of the artist, there will be a photo of the tent they are currently living in, and a brief statement of that child’s dream. Every child has the right to dream.

Singing For Refugees will be performing at the Civic Hall on the 26th of February. Rehearsals for this event take place every Friday in St Johns church Bridgetown between 7.00pm and 8.30. All singers and instrumentalists are welcome. Please come along or contact Steve Or Pauline Hastings for more details.

Contact: /

Two events organised by Freedom from Torture

1. Friday 26 February, starting at 7.30 pm, at the Mint Methodist Church, Fore St, Exeter – members of Freedom from Torture’s Write to Life project are coming down from London to give a presentation of ‘The A – Z Guide to the Poverty Barrier’, a video highlighting the reality of poverty in the UK from a torture survivor’s perspective, followed by a q&a session.  Light refreshments.

2.  Saturday 27 February – a coffee and cake morning at the Friends Meeting House in Ashburton, starting at 09.45 am with a talk by members of Freedom from Torture’s Write to Life group at approximately10.30 am.


Important feedback for us to hear:

Click here to read two reports from local women who have gone to help with the Calais situation recently. (PDF opens in new window)

Induction Meeting Feb 3rd 7 – 9pm


It will now take place at St. Johns Church Bridgetown.

No need to book, please come along for an informative exchange on how we can support asylum seekers and refugees in ways that are sensitive to their needs.

Please tell your friends of the new venue, and that they are very welcome to join us.


Saturday 16 January 2016 – Tuesday 19 January 2016

Art exhibition of drawings and paintings created by Syrian Children aged 12-18 currently living in Al-Abrar refugee camp in Lebanon – reflecting the trauma as well as hope and optimism.

At The Gallery, Hannahs at Seale-Hayne, Howton Lane, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ

The exhibition has been organised by Baraa Ehsaan Kouja, a Syrian student at the University of Exeter, and Hannahs Organisation.