Monday, 7 September 2015

Global Link shares stories of refugees settled across Lancashire

Lancaster-based educational charity Global Link is sharing stories online of people who have found refuge in Lancashire, enabling voices to be heard from behind the headlines (some of them singularly unpleasant).

Global Link has a long history of enabling the public to hear the stories of some of the asylum-seekers and refugees behind the headlines, including the multi-media touring exhibition Escape to Safety which invited adults and young people to feel what it was like to have to flee your home and seek sanctuary in the UK.

Most recently, Global Link worked with refugees and asylum-seekers in Blackburn to create digital stories which are available at under Digital Storytelling.

Mukhtar from Eritrea created a story called ‘My Second Family’ about finding refuge in Blackburn and subsequently winning an award for services to community cohesion. Mukhtar was a Head teacher who fled the dictatorship in Eritrea in 2002.

Aftab from Pakistan created a story called ‘I Have a Dream’ about fleeing from Pakistan where he nearly lost his life speaking out as a journalist against human rights abuses.

"It's important that people listen to the stories beyond the headlines," argues Gisela Renolds of Global Link. "Refugees and migrants are too often portrayed as a threatening ‘other’, with little description of where they have come from, or what has forced them to flee.

"If teachers want to address the issues in the classroom, there are lots of online educational resources available. Global Link also offers workshops in schools, including a simulation of a European Summit on Migration, and Continuing Professional Development. Indeed, at a recent workshop in Lancaster, the vast majority of Year 5 & 6 children felt that refugees should be shared out equally across Europe, either related to population or geographical size of the country."

Global Link is a development education centre based in the YMCA in Lancaster and delivers global learning workshops and training across Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Heritage days open historic doors across Lancaster - and Lancashire

Some of Lancashire County Council's historic buildings will open their doors between Thursday 10th and Sunday 13th September as part of a national promotion of local attractions.

The Heritage Open Days are an opportunity for people to find out about local history and explore their heritage, architecture and culture by getting involved in a number of activities. The majority of these are free.

Activities include a Historic Vehicle Cavalcade at Helmshore Mill Textile Museum, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lancashire Archives and a performance by clog dancing group, the 'Lancashire Wallopers' at Queen Street Mill Textile Museum.

Other events for visitors to enjoy include meeting a soldier from the 1715 battle of Preston at the Museum of Lancashire and free guided tours of Lancaster Castle.

Entry to Clitheroe Castle Museum will also be free.

Entry will be free on each day at most of the venues taking part which include:
  • The Cottage Museum, Lancaster 
  • Judges' Lodgings Museum, Lancaster 
  • Lancaster Castle 
  • Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Rossendale
  • Lancashire Archives, Bow Lane, Preston
  • Museum of Lancashire, Stanley Street, Preston
  • Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley
  • Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston
  • Fleetwood Museum
  • Clitheroe Castle Museum
• To find out about opening times or for more information about the special events at each of the venues for the Heritage Open Days, visit

Chamber of Commerce to host International Trade Conference

Lancaster's Chamber of Commerce is hosting an International Trade Conference and Exhibition at Lancaster House Hotel on Thursday 8th October 2015.

The Conference is for all businesses and sectors who want to learn about new & existing markets and find new opportunities within the International market.

Whether you are a Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer or Service provider there are opportunities to gain new business through exporting. It is also a chance for businesses and organisations to network, gain useful knowledge, advice and a chance to share experiences and best practice.

There will be some short presentations covering a range a topics including insights into the German, Chinese and Indian markets, an introduction to exporting, Web Hosting and Security and Social Media - how to be visible on it and the best platforms to use.

Speakers confirmed ar Steve Toogood from the UK India Business Council, Clive Drinkwater and Joe Darwin of the UK Trade & Investment, Aaron Crewe, SEO of 24/7, Dr Nick Bird from the Lancaster University China Catalyst Programme, Brian Sheldon from Nublue, Jane Binnion of social media advisory site Jane, and Mike Marczynski from Checkpoint, Eureko Associates.

Sponsored by UK Trade & Investment, Eureko Associates and Lancaster University - China Catalyst Programme, exhibitors include the UKTI, Lancaster University-China Catalyst, Eureko Associates, UKIBC, i2i Ltd, Seo 24/7, Jane Binnion, Nublue, Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and Growth Accelerator.

• The event costs Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce members £25+ VAT, Associate Members: £35+ VAT and Non Members: £45+VAT. Lunch & Refreshments included. To book visit the Chamber of Commerce web site here

Lancaster Maritime Museum closed for two days for maintenance work

Lancaster Maritime Museum, based at the Custom House, St. George's Quay, Lancaster is closed today and tomorrow (Tuesday 8th September) to allow maintenance work to be carried out at the Custom House, which the museum is part of.

Lancashire County Council museums manager Ian Watson, said: "We're very sorry for any inconvenience caused due to the museum being closed today and tomorrow.

"This is due to some repair work being needed in the Custom House. For the work to be carried out safely the museum needs to fully close.

"Unfortunately we've only recently been informed that this would be necessary."

The museum is expected to open as normal on Wednesday 9th September.

• Anyone wanting to visit later in the week can check opening times by calling 01524 382264 or by emailing

• You can find locations and opening times for all Lancashire museums at