Summary of the main achievements during the year 2015-2016

We are strongly committed to our work with the refugee community in the Plymouth area, which is especially poignant at this time when their countries are in such devastating turmoil.

The number of refugees who attended the women’s group sessions has increased from 15-20 with their preschool age children as well as older daughters. Feedback shows how our sessions have supported them to become more confident and improve their English.

We have developed new ways of working with the women refugees, and some of them have gone into local primary and secondary schools to talk about their experiences and have employed the methods we have taught them.

We performed at Cultural Kitchen evenings nine times this year where we have supported the lives of 150 young people and adults in Plymouth as they integrate into school and life in the UK.

Three workshop performances for 30 students who are on placement with START to support refugees and asylum seekers built a strong team at a time when the students were new to the organisation. The work strengthened their capacity to support refugees who are experiencing tough life circumstances as they integrate into life in the UK.

‘Unlocking Democracy’ funded a short-term project with asylum seekers and refugees to explore democracy and freedom. Members of Mirror Mirror Theatre Group went to the Houses of Parliament to present the findings of this project.

Feedback from women attending the women’s group

“I enjoy women’s group because it is a nice place to see my friends and a nice place to meet new people and make new friends. I like coming here because I can practice my English as at home there is nobody I can practice with. I really enjoy watching the playback theatre, this makes me happy and I laugh a lot.”

“I like that there is a mixture of people from different cultures and countries, it is a very mixed culture here at Women’s Group. I like that I can begin to understand what is going on for different women in their own culture. It is a good space where I can have face to face conversations with other women. I like how emphatic and understanding everyone is to everybody’s stories about their lives; it opens my eyes.”

“Women’s Group helps improve my English. I get to meet new people and make new friends. Women’s Group gives me help for my own life. It is a beautiful group with the playback theatre.”

“I love the teacher’s here at playback theatre they are very good. The teachers listen to us and the playback makes us laugh and cry sometimes.”