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Frome Welcome Hub

Mayor's welcome picnic for Ukrainian Refugees

Frome Town Council welcomes all displaced people and have dedicated staff to help support the refugee and asylum-seeking community in Frome and the surrounding area.

There are two Welcome Hub Advice Officers, Iryna Ladyzhenska and Emma Lacey-Williams who provide the Welcome Hub services. The Welcome Hub Advice Officers have been employed by Frome Town Council with funding from Christian Help and Action for Refugees in Somerset (CHARIS) who provide wrap around resettlement services in Somerset.

Iryna and Emma work in partnership with the local displaced community to assess what is working well and what needs developing, in order to shape a service that positively engages with those already living in the area, whilst also supporting those who newly arrive.

The Welcome Hub links in with local existing services and opportunities, is a point of contact for refugees and asylum seekers, signposts to regional and national services for practical support and offers cultural and social opportunities.

Emma was born in Frome and spent many years here before spending some years abroad and returning in 2018.

Iryna is a Ukrainian citizen and will continue to develop the support work that has so far been done by volunteers at Frome Welcomes Refugees.

The Frome Welcome Hub is open weekly on a Tuesday between 10am-3pm at Frome Town Hall Café. All displaced people from all countries are welcome.

There are also welfare checks conducted by Mendip Health Connectors at the Welcome Hub on Thursdays from 12pm-2pm.

You can contact the Welcome Hub Advice Officers here:

Iryna at Frome Town Hall on 01373 475 579, or by email to iladyzhenska@frometowncouncil.gov.uk

Emma at Frome Town Hall on 01373 475 579, or by email to elaceywilliams@frometowncouncil.gov.uk

Прочитати українською можна за посиланням

If you require this to be translated into a different language please contact us and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

Visit our Support for Displaced People page for useful links for refugees, their hosts and those looking to offer support:

Past activities

Here are some of the activities we’ve provided recently. We have organised many different types of activities and events, and we always welcome any suggestions if there is something you would like to see.

Refugee Week

Photo of 4 people at the Frome refugee picnic event

In June 2023, we held two events for Refugee Week – a Ukrainian cultural awareness session and a community picnic in Victoria Park. The zine below was created at the community picnic by refugee families from several different countries, supported by Caravan Arts. The zine pages will also be on display at Frome Town Hall from 24th August to mark Ukrainian Independence Day.

Arts & Crafts Session

Handmade notebooks from the arts and crafts session at Frome Welcome Hub

In August we had a free arts and crafts session for all ages. Some people used their creativity to make handmade notebooks to take home while others did drawings, collages and made window decorations from tissue paper.

Ukrainian Independence Day

For Ukrainian Independence Day on August 24th we put together an exhibition at Frome Town Hall. The exhibition includes information about the history and culture of Ukraine with beautiful embroidery and artwork on display too. It was curated by Iryna Ladyzhenska, Frome Town Council’s Welcome Hub Social Facilitator.

Art workshop for children

On August 29th  2023, children created stories and creatures using plasticine – a playful, imaginative workshop  – Thank you Yuliia for this amazing workshop.

Multicultural Festival 2023

We took part in the Multicultural Festival at Cheese and Grain on October 8th 2023 with Frome Welcomes Refugees – making Ukranian dolls and sampling Ukranian delicacies.

Visit to Cheddar Gorge

Many thanks to SASP for the funding for this trip to Cheddar Gorge in October 2023.

Combatting digital exclusion

In November 2023, a Ukrainian refugee received the 1000th refurbished device from Somerset CIC Donate IT, presented by Donate IT founder Simon Bafoot and Somerton and Frome MP Sarah Dyke.

Children’s choir at The Good Heart

Also in November 2023, a Ukrainian children’s choir started at The Good Heart.

Singing at the Christmas Light Switch on event

A beautiful new addition to the ‘Light the Night’ festivities this year was the traditional Ukrainian song ‘Shchedryk’, sang by Yuliia and Olha from Frome’s Ukrainian community, better known in the UK as ‘Carol of the Bells’.

Visit our YouTube channel to hear Yuliia and Olha sing.

Welcome Hub Christmas party

The Welcome Hub hosted a Christmas party for displaced people in Frome on Tuesday 19th December 2023 at the town hall.

Iryna Ladyzhenska said, “The party was fantastic – we had 25 children and lots of adults with us, enjoying good company, snacks, music, dancing and Christmas crafts with our lovely Helen.

“Thanks so much to Fair Frome, who donated lots of presents for Santa to hand out to the children, to Anne Dimery from the Merlin Theatre for supplying costumes and to the amazing party team of Olha, Anastasia, Svitlana, Olena and Maksym for all their hard work.”

Vigil – second anniversary of war in Ukraine

The mood and the weather were sombre at the Boyle Cross at 4pm today, as Frome’s Ukrainian community gathered for a vigil to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Welcome Hub Facilitator Iryna Ladyzhenska said:

“The Ukrainian community gathered near the fountain on the Boyle Cross to mark two sad anniversaries. February 20th 2024 is the 10th anniversary of the war in Ukraine, launched by the Russian Federation. February 24th is the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the war is on and there is no sign of it being finished in the foreseeable future. Our country needs support of the democratic countries in our fight against tyranny and aggression.”

Window Wanderland workshop – February 2024

Members of Frome’s refugee community came together with artist Tamsyn Gill to work on designs for this year’s Window Wanderland exhibition.

HOPE / НАДІЯ Artists in Dialogue exhibition – March 2024

Artists in Dialogue is an an ambitious, thought-provoking project initiated by Frome-based artists in July 2022.

At the HOPE / НАДІЯ exhibition at Frome’s Silk Mill in March 2024, over 50 recent, original artworks was on show by 12 artists currently working together to ensure that the ongoing war in Ukraine is not forgotten.

Sweet treats – April 2024

Thank you to Olga for leading a fun Easter workshop, where young members of the displaced community in Frome made delicious chocolate lollipops!

Olga and youngsters at the chocolate workshop

A Civic Award for Frome Welcomes Refugees

In April 2024, Mayor Philip Campagna recognised the work of Frome Welcomes Refugees with a Mayor’s Civic Award, at Frome’s Annual Town Meeting.

Frome Welcomes Refugees receive Civic Award
Published
8 November 2022
Last Updated
12 April 2024