The Brushstrokes project started in 1999 in Smethwick, in the Midlands, UK, and reaches out to the local community, especially the marginalised, listens to them, and helps them achieve their hopes and dreams. In the course of that work, we have met many asylum seekers and refugees; in fact, Brushstrokes keeps these very marginalised people at the heart of their agenda.
In August 2023, a new partnership project was created with Fr. Hudson's Care, Brushstrokes, the Social Care Agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, and a cluster of parishes around Wolverhampton called St. John Henry Newman. It focuses on helping those recently granted refugee status to settle into life in the UK and to find their own place to live and work. One of those parishes decided to use its Presbytery to welcome and accommodate 4 – 5 refugees. It is called Nicolas Barré House. It was inaugurated and blessed by Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley, on 16th January. To mark the occasion, there was the planting of a tree by the first refugee guests at the house.
Sr Marie, Sr Margaret, Sr Pat and rchbishop Bernard Longley