Bring Your Song
A story about what the Comfrey Project is all about - about bring what you are able to offer.
Lunch at the Comfrey Project is a time when people come together. A time when they're most relaxed and most at ease with themselves and each other. Perhaps it's the food, perhaps it's the fact that they're taking a welcome break form the hard work of the morning, perhaps it's as simple as just enjoying being with good people.
Participants often say that being part of the Comfrey Project is like being part of a family, and for people who have lost their family, or are far away from them or unable to be close to them, we're happy to be that family.
A few years ago we were in a small group sharing lunch when someone started singing. It wasn't a performance. It was like when you sing while you're pinning up the washing, or while you concentrate on a task. It was unconscience. George, who ang it, was form Sri Lanka, and his wife joined for in a while.
When George and Elizabeth stopped singing, another particpant started. She was from a different culture - from the Congo, and her song was a hymn. When she finished we all clapped.
Then another participant sang a song, and then another, each from their own country.
Everyone was so relaxed and warmed by the sharing of their songs. For me it was what the Comfrey Project was all about.
For the people who sang their songs, it was a way of giving. For many of them, their songs were all they had to give. With much of their lives disrupted, the songs were a link to their culture and their families and their happiness.
That's what the Comfrey Project is all about for me - it's about bringing what you are able to offer, whether hard work in the garden or the kitchen, a hug, a smile, or a song.
Stories from refugees and asylum seekers living in the North East in their own words.