Skipton Community Welcomes Refugees
The people of Skipton have once again welcomed refugees and asylum seekers into their homes and community for a weekend of fun and friendship.
Organised by Clapham-based charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), in partnership with the community in Skipton and Bradford Immigration and Asylum Seekers Support and Advice Network (BIASAN), the Skipton Weekend has become the foundation of a relationship that has grown and developed between these two communities.
Now in its third year, it is a chance to relax, build friendships and get to know each other in the glorious Yorkshire Dales landscape.
Among the group were families from China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan.
More than 20 refugees and asylum seekers joined the Skipton community to participate in activities such as gardening and making bird feeders, ceilidh dancing and singing and felt-making and mosaics.
On Friday night the group were welcomed into the town by Skipton Mayor, Alan Hickman, who celebrated the diverse group’s common humanity.
Huda, originally from Iraq, said she “really liked the houses; I felt relaxed when seeing houses and scenery. I’m happy that I got the opportunity to see everything”.
As food is a great way of celebrating new friendship, meals were also prepared and shared together.
On the Sunday afternoon, the group were invited to explore the Broughton Hall Estate, where they were given a tour of Avalon Wellbeing Centre and the beautiful, historic Broughton Hall.
Mostafa, originally from Eritrea, said that the visit to Broughton Hall was the most enjoyable part of her visit. She said: “it was an amazing place; I have never seen anything like it before in my life.”
This initiative formed part of YDMT’s award-winning People and the DALES project and was made possible thanks to generous support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Will Humpington from the charities team at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “This is a fantastic community event bringing people together to enjoy all that the Yorkshire Dales has to offer. We’re really pleased that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting this project and to date they have raised more than £2 million for YDMT, which is incredible.”
Rosie Russell-Cohen, Trainee Outreach Worker at YDMT, added: “It was an incredible privilege to see what becoming part of the Yorkshire Dales really means. It was a great way to celebrate diverse communities coming together and having fun.
“The impact that it has on everyone’s lives is brilliant and it was a reminder that the Dales isn’t just for those who own a pair of good walking – but for everyone!
“We’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making the weekend a huge success. In particular, St Stephen’s Catholic Church, Skipton Soroptimist International, Jette and Skipton Quaker Meeting, St Andrews Church and Skipton Baptist Church for all the hard work in hosting, organising accommodation and providing meals.
“We’d also like to thank all the hosts for welcoming visitors into their homes and hearts, Batty Moss ceilidh band for playing at the party in St Michael’s Hall, Mayor Alan Hickman for his welcome, Phil Lawler, Catherine Mercer and Incredible Edible Skipton, Sarah Hodgson, Fiona Potheroe, Floe Shakespeare for their help with workshops and welcomes and Roger Tempest and all at Broughton Hall Estate.”
Skipton Community Welcomes Refugees, 3rd May 2019, 10:06 AM