Gruffalo author carries out a Simple Act

Gruffalo author carries out a Simple Act to help children’s
understanding of refugees

Julia Donaldson, author of the best-selling children’s book The Gruffalo, carries out a Simple Act today to promote understanding of refugees living in Scotland.

Julia is doing her Simple Act with pupils at Milngavie Primary by reading from her book The Snail and the Whale, and asking children to act out scenes from her play Bombs and Blackberries.

The Simple Acts Campaign is about inspiring people to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees. It is part of activity around Refugee Week.

Julia said: ‘The Snail and the Whale is about displacement. The snail is a willing traveller, but like many refugees her journey takes her to a completely different world which overwhelms and dazzles her. I hope that children who read the story will gain some insight into the challenges faced by children who are uprooted.’

Belinda McElhinney, Refugee Week Scotland coordinator, said: ‘Thanks to Julia’s agreeing to do a Simple Act at Milngavie Primary, the school has already begun teaching Asylum and Refugee issues as a topic. This shows why Simple Acts are a great, easy way to raise awareness.’

If everyone does just one Simple Act, we believe it’ll make a big difference to how refugees are perceived in the UK. In 2010, refugee organisations across the UK are inviting the public to carry out a Simple Act in time for Refugee Week (June 14-21). You can find out how at

 Photographs of the event will be available at 2pm

 Access a full interview with Julia here:

For more information contact: Clare Harris or Karin Goodwin on 0141 223 7927, 07734 030763, or

Notes to Editors

Simple Acts is a UK-wide campaign promoted by the Refugee Week partnership, which includes Scottish Refugee Council. Its aim is to inspire individuals to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees. Find out more here:

The campaign consists of 20 actions that can be done by anyone and that encourage us to learn and do more with refugees. With every person who joins in on the idea and does a small thing with and for refugees, we get a little closer to removing barriers between communities and to creating the kind of world we all want to live in.

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of events which celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK. During Refugee Week hundreds of events exploring refugee experiences take place across the UK. These range from small community and school activities to art exhibitions, political debates, film screenings and musical performances.

This year Refugee Week runs from June 14-20. For more details on what’s on during Refugee Week in Scotland go to