To mark UN World Refugee Day 2022, from 20th June Golden Thread Gallery (GTG) in Belfast will distribute 350 free art packs to child refugees, asylum seekers and migrants here in Northern Ireland. With funding support from the VSB Foundation, GTG hopes the packs will help welcome children and families to their new home.

The packs contain a unique colouring book of landmarks of each county in Northern Ireland, created by artist Katharine Paisley, and a selection of colourful and fun art supplies, to encourage creativity and the joy of making art. The packs also contain a special ‘Welcome’ edition of the GTG Junior Gallery Newsletter to tell children about Northern Ireland and its history, craic, and culture – and our tasty food! The newsletters are available in Arabic and Farsi as well as English.

GTG is working with community organisations and charities to distribute packs to refugee and asylum seeker families from countries including Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

The GTG Art Packs were funded by the VSB Foundation. Their mission is to promote social change through strategic interventions that stimulate active engagement, participation, and citizenship.

Golden Thread Gallery Deputy Director Sarah McAvera said, “Over the past three years, Golden Thread Gallery has worked with a range of funders on projects to improve diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in the NI arts sector. We believe art is a way to find connection and overcome barriers, and to celebrate creativity and imagination for everyone. We are very grateful to the VSB Foundation for their support which has enabled us to link and collaborate with newer communities in Northern Ireland, and to create these wonderful packs.

The Art Packs include:

  • Golden Thread Junior Gallery Newsletter ‘Welcome’ Edition, available in Arabic, Farsi, and English.
  • ‘Welcome to Northern Ireland’ Colouring Book
  • Selection of art supplies including a sketchbook, drawing pencils, colouring pencils, felt-tip markers, eraser, and sharpener.
  • Golden Thread Gallery Explorer Backpack


Katharine Paisley [email protected] / 02890330930