Over a weekend in early March 2016 a group of 27 refugees and asylum seekers, currently living in Bradford, spent the weekend living with host families in and around Skipton in rural North Yorkshire. There they found an extremely warm welcome.
The initiative was jointly organised through the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s outreach project ‘People and the DALES’ and the newly formed Craven Refugee Support Group, as people in Skipton were moved by the current refugee crisis and wanted to get involved and do something. It was felt that those living in Bradford would appreciate time away from the city, an opportunity to meet new people and be welcomed into a community. Hence, the idea of a weekend where people in Skipton could host refugees or asylum seekers for a weekend was formulated.
The weekend was action packed full of fun, friendship and food. Mo Rahman from BIASAN made a fantastic effort to enthuse people.
The group consisted of men and women and a few children who came from Sudan, Syria, Eritrea, the Gambia, Iran and Iraq and were hosted by families in Skipton.
One of the hosts was Fiona Protheroe. “I was privileged to spend the weekend with a wonderful mother from Syria, and three of her children, as part of the hosting weekend. The refugee crisis feels so overwhelming, it felt good to do something positive as an individual, and as part of my local community.”
The weekend was filled with great events ranging from a warm welcome by the Mayor, a free visit to Skipton Castle, a ceilidh and lots and lots of food.
It was a huge success thanks to the contributions of many people and organisations. The Rotary Club of Skipton provided transport to and from Bradford. The Wharfedale Foundation and Soroptimists contributed towards the costs of food throughout the weekend, Skipton castle provided free entry to the castle and various churches offered their premises for use during the weekend and cooked fantastic meals.
To find out more contact: Judy Rogers – firstname.lastname@example.org