Finding Sanctuary through Art, Music and Drama


To celebrate Refugee Week we wanted to share this story of the work we are doing with local refugees and asylum seekers.

Anna arrived in Greenwich as a refugee from Ukraine, and soon heard about the opportunity to join free art classes at the Blackheath Conservatoire.

"Creating art is like meditation' she says.  'For two hours I must focus on what I’m making with my hands.  I can’t think about the news or what is happening at home.  I really appreciate this time."

Thanks to generous donations the Conservatoire is delighted to have been able to offer funded places for refugees and asylum seekers from the local area over the past year.

Engaging in the arts is well documented as a way to manage stress and anxiety, whilst group classes offer the opportunity to meet people and make friends. Under this new programme people of all ages who have fled war and persecution have been offered access to music tuition, drama and art classes at no cost. The programme has also been a wonderful learning opportunity for our tutors.  Here, in their own words, are the impressions of those who have recently joined our classes:


Yosef from Ethiopia


Yosef from Ethiopia describes his lessons as “Absolutely amazing!”

John Hudson, tutor: "It’s been a great pleasure to get to know Yosef. In a very short time, he’s progressed from complete beginner to a point where he’s able to play confidently. We've looked at music from various genres including, at his suggestion, some in Amharic. This isn’t music I’d have encountered had I not been teaching Yosef, so it's been an interesting cultural exchange from my point of view."

Betul from Turkey


 “I am very happy with my tutor and my lessons. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.”


Delsy, Yarneline and Lilian from Honduras

“We are very happy and delighted with the courses, likewise with our tutors.  In a short time we have learned a lot and that makes us very excited. 


Maryam from Iran

Maryam's painting

“This painting class has helped me a lot in this difficult stage of my life. I am really grateful for your kindness."

Kristen Lyle, tutor: “Maryam has started the course as a complete beginner. It has been great to see her growing in confidence with the painting techniques and materials and to develop her own style. The Victorian art studio at the Conservatoire with its high ceilings and Northern light offers a space for respite and focus. It’s a special and unique atmosphere.  It’s rare to find this kind of dedicated art space in which to experiment, to be creative and to be ‘present’ in the moment.”

Do get in touch to find out more.

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