The 25th Anniversary of Refugee Week recently could not have coincided with more poignant reminders of the growing Global problem we are facing.
The disastrous death of hundreds of migrants off Southern Greece was the latest in a long line of horrific deaths of desperate people....
...or families fleeing the devastating war in Ukraine.
...or tens of thousands of people escaping from escaping from China’s increasingly authoritarian grip on Hong Kong...
The list goes on...
I hasten to add this is not a political point about immigration or asylum. It is just a sad reflection of a growing global problem - and is only likely to get worse as climate change takes hold.
So how does The Walk and Talk Movement help?
The most important thing we do as a community is to welcome and support refugees - and make them feel at home - however they have got here and whatever their story.
We have regular walkers and talkers from Ukraine, Hong Kong and many other destinations and we would be so delighted to welcome more.
Of course nothing is plain sailing. We understand how difficult it is for refugees to adapt to strange new surroundings and locations. How they may feel self conscious about their language skills, their backgrounds, their ability to fit in.
But our Walk and Talk message, in fact our whole ethos, is very simple. We support and walk and talk with everybody - from all parts of the community...and a friendly smile works wonders and can break down all sorts of barriers.
The good news is it is working!
Soon refugees become part of our community. Get to know their local area better. Make new friends. Build networks. Bring their families on our walks. Improve their language skills. Connect with local people. Become happier and healthier together.
By connecting and building hope and support The Walk and Talk Movement can provide an important refuge that so many people need.
So come along! Everybody can join us any Saturday at 10.30am. No booking no reservations. Just join us at any of our locations:
Let's Walk and Talk Together
The theme for this year's Refugee Week is Compassion - and it is amazing how far a simple smile and welcome can go.