Lucy honoured for her work with refugees

A woman who has dedicated her life to helping asylum seekers and refugees settle in Newcastle has received a prestigious Lord Mayor’s Award. 

Violin player Lucy Fairley set up the music project Crossings which encourages people who have fled wars and persecution to meet and play music together, helping them integrate into the city and grow in confidence. 

She was nominated by fellow Crossings members Louise Wellington and Chantelle Howes. 

Louise said: “Lucy is a wonderful individual. Founding Crossings has helped so many people in this region specifically refugees, asylum seekers and migrants integrate into the local community. 

“This work is so valuable – it’s helped hundreds of people to come together through a love of music and music making. Without Lucy’s continued input as chair of trustees this would not have happened.” 

Lord Mayor Cllr Hazel Stephenson said: “My theme for the year is working together and Lucy personifies this. She has done so much to help people at difficult times in their life and helped them grow in confidence through music which is a great unifier. 

“It gives me great pleasure to give Lucy this award which she richly deserves.” 

Lucy, of Spital Tongues, Newcastle, said: “I feel very honoured because I feel there are so many people who do so much and I would like to bear witness to them.” 

The Lord Mayor’s Awards are only presented to a small number of people – this being only the fifth given out this year. 

They recognise people who work in a voluntary capacity making a significant contribution to their community over a long period of time. 

Choir member Brittannia Douglas said: “What Lucy provided for us at Crossings isn’t just music or a hobby but a family. Being an immigrant, asylum seeker or refugee in a foreign country is really lonely.  

“No one can replace the family and friends you lose but Crossings is the closest thing I have to a family.” 

The children of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants can also enjoy music and singing with the setting up of a Junior Crossings.

Visit Newcastle city council  Facebook page for an interview with Lucy and her nominator Louise Wellington.