Sita says: ‘For the project ‘ 3,000 Chairs’ in The Guardian.…/your-3000-chairs-for-child-re…Jane Ray drew an example picture and sewing together the words of the group I wrote a communal poem reflecting refugees’ stories. Here is the poem and drawing which Jane and I and Islington Centre offer for auction, that we will both be happy to sign.

Islington Centre Chair

I am a simple chair
All my worth is in my welcome
When you lean against my spine
I feel your history
Your past, your present, your future

I am waiting to give rest to you who have walked too far from home
Along troubled paths
I am not the chair of your memory
I am not your familiar chair
But I am waiting to welcome you
All my worth is in my welcome

I am a plain chair
Doing what good chairs do
I say to you
Just for this moment
Let me take the weight off your feet

I am an ordinary chair
When you rest in me
Lean against my back
Give me your trust
I feel my value

I feel the pain in your back
Your sore feet
I am waiting to give you rest, peace and friendship
When you find comfort in my seat
My legs put down roots and shoots
And from my back grow wings of hope

I am a simple chair
All my worth is in my welcome

Inspired by the Islington Centre Refugee Art and Writing group
Led by Writer and Artist in residence Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray


Jane Ray is an award-winning illustrator and author whose books include ‘Can You Catch A Mermaid?’, ‘Ahmet and the Feather Girl’, and ‘The Dolls House Fairy’ . Recent picture book collaborations  include ‘Zeraffa Giraffa’ with Dianne Hofmeyr and ‘Heartsong’ with Kevin Crossley Holland. She often visits schools and is also Artist in Residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, working with author Sita Brahmachari.

Sita Brahmachari is the author of the award-winning Artichoke Hearts; her subsequent novels ‘Jasmine Skies’ and  ‘Red Leaves’ have been long-listed for the Carnegie Prize. Her novel Kite Spirit has been recorded in audio format by actress Juliet Stevenson, nominated by UKLA Book award and chosen as a Reading Agency Book on Prescription. Sita has an MA in Arts Education and a background in community theatre. She co-created and scripted a celebrated adaptation of Tan’s Graphic novel ‘The Arrival’ ( 2013) and her novel ‘Red Leaves’ was endorsed by Amnesty International. Sita was writer in residence at Book Trust (2015) and is Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.