This happy picture records a picnic hosted by RWR on a sunny Saturday afternoon in May 2017. The castle is the historic Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Eighteenth Century Gothic folly with its beautiful, restored gardens.
RWR had no idea how many to expect and were delighted that word had got around and about 60 people appeared. Shyness with strangers didn’t last long and soon everyone seemed to have a new friend.
Each group brought local delicacies: home cooked spicy falafels, hummus and tabbouleh. The spread looked delicious and it proved difficult to restrain some of the children from launching in immediately and taking handfuls of chocolates!
There were students from as far afield as Hong Kong and the Philippines, people were speaking Bengali and Spanish, and many attendees were Arabic speaking - refugees from Yemen, Iraq, Egypt and Syria all struggling with English and enjoying the friendship of so many people in a situation like their own.
Strawberry Hill’s garden boasts a hidden path through the woods - the perfect trail for a Treasure Hunt. Older children rapidly scooped up golden coins and returned parading their riches – then shared generously with slightly bewildered little girls and boys who had found a single coin and stood amazed while others rushed past.
We have shared so many insights into different ways of thinking and look forward to many more occasions with our newfound friends.