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29th March 2019

St Brendan’s was thrilled to welcome Margaret Ulloa to College last week to talk more about the Lampedusa cross and the work of Borderlands.

Margaret talks to students

Margaret talks to students

The imperative Bristol-based charity Borderlands helps to support refuges across the city and works with asylum seekers and refuges through various projects. Margaret explained why the charity was set up, thee assistance it offers and the difficulties faced by those who have arrive in Britain searching for refuge.

The focal point of Margaret’s talk was around the Lampedua cross, which was made by the students of St Edward’s School in Romsey. The original Lampedusa Crosses were made of wood taken from the boats which refugees had used to sail across the Mediterranean to Italy. Tragically, one such boat sunk off the coast of Lampedusa Island in 2013, resulting in the death of more than 300 people. A local carpenter made small crosses from the remains of the boats to offer a symbol of hope to the survivors. Since then, many such crosses have been made as a similar symbol of hope, such as the one made by St Edward's School. The cross is spending time at every Catholic school and college in the Clifton Diocese, and we were pleased to be able to use it in a way which raised awareness of the plight of refugees.

As a College, we also have our own version of the Lampedusa Cross in front of Reception , showing that we are a College of sanctuary and are pleased to be committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all.