Cyprus – A European Christmas Story

At the beginning of December the Christmas tree is decorated, which has become one of the most beloved and well-known holiday symbols. They also hang Christmas stockings for Santa Claus to put some sweets in them!

For many Cypriots the holiday is preceded by a time of fasting. For Cyprus, the season is full swing by December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas, and will last through January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany.

One of the most important ways Cyprus celebrates Christmas is through food. An enormous amount of cooking and hard work starts to prepare the food for Christmas.

Some popular foods at Christmas in Cyprus are stuffed turkey which has become more popular in recent years or the traditional Souvla made with lamb or pork cooked on the traditional Cypriot BBQ over charcoals. For sweets there are the delicious Kourabiedes – small almond cakes coated in icing sugar, melomakarona – honey cakes and Finikia – walnut cakes.

Over the Christmas period pomegranates are eaten and used for decoration.  Pomegranates symbolise joyous times, good fortune, fertility and prosperity.

Christmas in Cyprus are pretty much like any other country. In the past years, there have been a few Christmas traditions such as girls sitting in front of the fireplace and throwing in the fire an olive branch to see if there loved one loved them back, and if the branch got turned it meant that he loved them back.

Many of the children go from house to house singing seasonal carols.

Traditional Christmas songs that are played worldwide are translated in Greek. They usually play them when decorating the Christmas tree or when they have gatherings.

The last 12 days before Christmas are considered to be the most dangerous, and so to protect the home the hostess will hang over the door an Olive or Basil branch which has been wrapped around the cross and sprinkled with holy water, to scare off evil spirits.

There are a lot of Christmas markets held in the most crowded places like shopping malls and main roads where people can buy stuff, listen to music and have a few drinks and food. A basic Christmas snack includes chestnuts baked on the fireplace which are essentials on a cozy night.

A personal story:

By Andrea Philippou

Q1. What do you have for Christmas dinner?

On Christmas Day most people go to church and the the night before Christmas we have Cypriot barbecue and a ton of friends and family over. We play board games all night accompanied with sometime of alcoholic drink but always within limits. Christmas day there is the Christmas lunch where we have our traditional sweets, Melomakarona and Kourambiedes.

Q2. What is your fondest memory of Christmas?

My fondest memory of Christmas is not even on Christmas Day it is on New Year’s. It was a few years ago when we woke up to fully snowed country and it was like a dream.

Q3. What types of presents do you get from friends and family?

In Cyprus, most people don’t get their presents until the New Years because that’s when Santa Claus is believed to come. We would always be at someone else’s house on New Year’s Eve and by the time the new year came we would come home and open our gifts before going to bed. We would usually get things we wanted mostly games or electronic consoles. On the day of New Year’s, we cut the Vasilopitta a cake specified on Santa Claus where we cut pieces from the older member of the family to the youngest. In vasilopitta there is a hidden coin which whoever is lucky to get means that he will be lucky for the entire year. My favourite gift ever was when I got my first piano.  

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

Denmark – A European Christmas Story

Some people in Denmark give and receive Advent presents on the four Sundays of Advent. Most people have a Kalenderlys (an Advent calendar-candle) or a Pakkekalender (gift calendar), which contains 24 small gifts for the children, one for each day until Christmas Eve.

Julekalender (christmas calendar) is a television series with 24 episodes, one shown each day until Christmas Eve. The first Julekalender was shown in 1962. The theme of the Julekalender typically involves someone trying to ruin Christmas and the main characters saving it.

Every year a set of Christmas stamps/stickers/seals called julemærket are sold in December to help raise money for charity. A normal postage stamp is used as well but the julemærket stickers make the post look Christmassy.

Christmas parties are held from 1st November to 24th December. Making cakes and biscuits is popular in the time before Christmas. Gingerbread or vanilla cookies are popular.

Most people go to church on Christmas Eve at about 4pm to hear the Christmas sermon. It is also a tradition to give animals a treat on Christmas Eve, so people go for a walk in the park or woods and give food to the animals and birds.

The main Christmas meal is eaten between 6pm and 8pm and includes roast duck, goose or pork, served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beetroot and cranberry jam/sauce. Most families have a ‘ris á la mande’ (a type of rice pudding made with milk, rice, vanilla, almonds and whipped cream) for dessert. All but one of the almonds are chopped into pieces. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present called a Mandelgave (almond present). Traditionally the little present was a marzipan pig but today is often sweets or a toy.

After the meal the lights on the Christmas tree are lit, people might dance around the tree and sing carols and open their presents.

In Denmark, children believe that their presents are brought by the ‘Julemanden’ (which means ‘Christmas Man’ or ‘Yule Man’). He looks similar to Santa Claus and travels with a sleigh and reindeer. He lives in Greenland, likes rice pudding and is helped by ‘nisser’ which are like elves.

In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Glædelig Jul’. 

A personal story:

By Jamil Ilyas

Q1. What do you have for Christmas dinner?

Christmas eve we normally have an open market in the centre with large Christmas tree and we go there as a family and then go home late ready for Christmas day where we make roast lamb legs, roast chicken, chips for the kids. Grilled and roasted vegetables and potatoes and lots of Danish sweets and we just eat all day. People of different faith would have roasted pork, roasted duck, and mulled wine as part of their Christmas dinner.

Q2. What is your fondest memories of Christmas?

Christmas day is a time for family as everyone is off work. We do lunch with the family and then do a nice long walk with the whole family (generally it is snowing so we have a snowball fight and I love that time of the year)

Q3. What types of presents do you get from friends and family?

For presents we normally give more to the children which is generally toys, books, and Danish Sweets.

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

Germany – A European Christmas Story

In German Happy Christmas is ‘Frohe Weihnachten’; Christmas Day is called ‘Erste Feiertag which translates to the first celebration and the 26th December is known as ‘Zweite Feiertag’ the second celebration.

Christmas eve is the main time for families to exchange presents, der Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus) brings the main presents but some traditions say they may also be brought by Christkind.

Das Christkind translates as the Christ Child but this isn’t a reflection of the baby Jesus as you would imagine, the Christ Child is often described as a young girl with Christ like qualities. Often a young girl is chosen to play the part of the Christ Child and they will appear on TV and participate in parades through the town. She wears a long white dress and has long blonde curly hair, she wears a gold crown and sometimes will have wings like an angel.

In some parts of Germany children will write letters to Das Christkind or Weihnachtsmann asking for presents. The letters are decorated with sugar glued to the envelopes to make them sparkly, children will leave these letters on their windowsill at the beginning of advent.

Children in Germany also hope that der Nikolaus will bring small gifts such as sweets or chocolate on the 6th December (St Nicholas’s day). It is believed that der Nikolaus comes in the night between the 5th and 6th December and puts the small gifts inside the shoes of children. Children will place their shoes in doorways in preparation. Although der Nikolaus visits in December he is not officially part of Christmas.

Another tradition in Germany is the Sternsinger or star singers, they go from house to house singing and collecting money for charity. The singers are normally children with four of them dressing up like the wise men, one carries a star on a stick as a symbol of the star of Bethlehem. After they have sung their song the group will write a signature with chalk on the door of the house. It is considered bad luck if you wash away the sign, it must fade by itself. This tradition normally takes place on the 6th January (Epiphany).

A personal story:

Christmas celebrations start in Germany on Christmas Eve, that’s when Father Christmas (Weihnachtsmann) comes. Most people go to Church about 4 Pm, afterwards all the family get together at home

When I’ve lit all the candles and put the church bells CD on, everybody’s allowed to go into the room where the Christmas Tree is, it’s always exciting because Father Christmas has been while we were all in the Church and put all the presents under the Tree. 

The fondest memories are when the kiddies were smaller and really believed that Father Christmas had put all the presents under the Tree. 

The kiddies get the most presents, like this year my granddaughter (13) wished for Roller-skates, a helmet, Monopoly and a few other things. I got a photobook from both my granddaughters last year from when we were in England, otherwise presents are like the ones you receive in England – Perfume, Concert Tickets, Books, Games and Jewellery. We don’t give presents among friends much, usually a self-made Liquor or a bottle of Wine or Prosecco. 

After everybody’s opened their presents we have our meal. We always have Raclette, that usually takes about 1, 1/2 hours.

After we’ve eaten we sing Christmas carols or when my granddaughters were smaller they used to say short Christmas porös.

Christmas Day, everybody gets together again, there’s usually 10 of us altogether, we always go to my daughters house because it’s my younger granddaughter’s birthday as well. 

For dinner we have, Turkey or Goose with red cabbage and bread dumplings (Semmel Knödel), they’re recipes from Bavaria, (South Germany) where my husband’s parents came from. 

Goose or Turkey is what most people have. 

Our Christmas celebrations in Germany are more or less the same all over except for the food. 

A lot of people used to eat Sausages and Potato Salad at Christmas Eve because they’d been busy all day.  They didn’t put their Christmas Tree up till Christmas Eve.  Some still do.  In Bavaria they say the Christkind (Christchild) brings the presents and not Father Christmas. (Weihnachtsmann).  

The writing stays on the wall, like ours is from January 2020. The 20 is for the year, C for Casper, M for Melchior, B for Balthasar then 20 again. On the other side of the doorway they renewed the writing, that’s from 2004. When they come next year they’ll just change the 20 to 21.

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

Workshop – Understanding and Supporting Refugee Integration – 16th December 2020.

From Migration Yorkshire: If you have been on the Migration Yorkshire Introduction to Migration Training there is no need to attend this as well as it covers some of the the same areas

As part of our Refugee Integration Yorkshire & Humber project, we are offering a free online workshop for organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. The session will focus on supporting refugee refugees and asylum seeker integration and is targeted at individuals who work in key services that may come into contact with refugees and asylum seekers.

This session is pitched at an introductory level and is not suited to those who already have a good amount of knowledge experience of working with this group.

Attendees will gain:

  • An understanding of the definitions of refugees and asylum seekers;
  • An insight into the reasons people seek asylum;
  • An awareness of different routes to protection such as asylum, resettlement and refugee family reunion; and
  • Knowledge of the challenges and barriers to integration that refugees and asylum seekers may face in the UK.

The session takes place on Wednesday 16th December, 2-4pm. The session will take place via Zoom and joining details will be shared prior to the event. To register, please follow the link below.

Places are limited so please book early.

To book please click here

Bulgaria – A European Christmas Story

Christmas is celebrated on 25th December in Bulgaria in line with the Gregorian Calendar, whilst many countries in Eastern Europe celebrate it on January 7th using the old Julian Calendar.

The 20th is also the traditional ‘new year’ in Bulgarian culture. It’s traditional to eat a special ring shaped caked called ‘kolaks’ on this day. A legend in Bulgaria is that Mary began labour on December 20th or ‘Ignazhden’, (Saint Ignatius of Antioch’s Day) and gave birth on Christmas Eve with the birth of Jesus announced on Christmas Day. Preparations for Christmas start on November 15th with Advent which lasts 40 days.

‘Budni Vecher’ (Christmas Eve) is celebrated with the main Christmas meal. Traditionally the meal should have an odd number of dishes, usually 7, 9 or 11.

Straw is often put under the tablecloth and a wooden plough brought into the house for good crops during the next year.

After the Christmas Eve meal, some will go to the Midnight Mass service and you may hear Koledari (carol singers),which are normally young men in traditional clothing who go carol singing. Their singing can only start after midnight and the singers are often found singing all night, so that the sun never catches them. Having the Koledari visit your home is meant to be good luck.

Christmas Trees are now popular in Bulgaria and towns are decorated with Christmas lights. Some will still have a traditional Yule Log, usually from an oak, elm or pear tree, known as a ‘badnik’ or ‘budnik’ which is brought into the house on Christmas Eve. Santa in Bulgarian is called ‘Dyado Koleda’ which means Grandfather Christmas and Merry Christmas is ‘Vesela Koleda’.

A personal story:

By Yoana Krista

Q1. What do you have for Christmas dinner?

Usually we celebrate on Christmas eve on the 24th and have an odd number of dishes. Normally we have stuffed peppers or cabbage filled with rice, a ‘soup’ of dried apricots and prunes, pita bread, beans soup and we always leave a side plate with a bit of all the dishes so that Virgin Marie comes during the night in Krder to have a bit of everything.

Q2. What is your fondest memories of Christmas?

Every time of Christmas is very special because we spend more quality with my family, watch movies, and talk more. Also we light up the fire place and warm up like this. Maybe the best Christmas was when we celebrated with part of my family in 2009 and we had a great time together

Q3. What types of presents do you get from friends and family? We can get everything from jewellery, clothes, books etc

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

France – A European Christmas Story

Merry Christmas in French is known as Joyeux Noël

In many parts of eastern and northern France the Christmas festivities start on December the 6th this is known as St Nicholas day.

On the eve of December 5th children place their shoes at the entrance of their house, they also leave carrots and sugar lumps for St Nicholas donkey. It is hoped that St Nicholas will bring treats during the night and fill their shoes.

The story goes that once upon a time, three children got lost in the woods and were kidnapped by a wicker butcher. The children were rescued by St Nicholas and returned to their parents and so was known as the protector of children. Another name for him is Santa Claus.

There is also a scary character called le Père Fouettard. He is the wicked butcher who kidnapped the children. Often people will play out these stories, with the wicked butcher dressed in black, carrying a whip and looking menacing. St Nicholas wears the traditional long red coat often associated with Santa Claus. The children will sing traditional songs of the three children’s adventures and eat gingerbread characters of St Nicholas.

On the 8th December many parts of France will celebrate with a light festival known as la Fête des Lumières this means the festival of lights. This is a four-day festival to celebrate the Virgin Mary. During this time there are amazing light shows throughout the town with many of these light shows illuminating local buildings. 

In France, it is the tradition to eat a special dinner late at night on Christmas Eve.  However, in the region of Provence, it is referred to as the big supper, it is eaten before going to midnight mass.

After the main meal it is tradition to serve thirteen desserts on Christmas eve. The number 13 represents Jesus and his disciples. These desserts will stay on the table for three days for people to enjoy.

Two of the thirteen dishes are a type of flat bread with olive oil and flavoured with aniseed, orange or lemon.

Another dessert is a nougatwhich is served in two colours:white and black.

Other items that are traditionally included are: apples, pears, green melon, grapes, dates, candied fruit, fruit pastilles, diamond-shaped sweets, foil-wrapped chocolates and mulled wine.  

A personal story:

by Marie.

Christmas Past

I was born in France to French parents and lived in France till around the age of six. As a child I remember my upbringing and the Christmas’s spent in France being a very important festival. My parents moved to an island in the British Isles and our Christmas’s continued very much the same. I recall my sister and I attending midnight mass at the French church with our mother as she was a devout Catholic. Christmas eve was always a late affair and we would go after our Christmas Eve dinner which is called ‘le réveillon de Noël’. This was normally a beautiful meal and well prepared as my father had been a chef.

My parents were migrants who were good people who worked very hard but we were not very well off so there was no money to buy lavish things. I remember we did not have running water in the house and having to use a tap in the hall outside. At Christmas I recall goose or roast beef other, fish and scallops which are coquilles saint Jacques, beautiful creamy rice pudding and cakes. I remember my dad would often prepare a pineapple with spun sugar too. The food was always good.

I remember my sister and I receiving gifts such as a clementine and chocolate. But one year both my sister and I received a red radio each, we were so excited.

I also recall a purchase of dried raisins that were in a triangle wooden box with images of sun and vines on the packaging, an image that has always remained with me. We didn’t have much but as sisters we were lucky we had each other.

Christmas day was a family day normally my mum, dad and sister. We had an aunt, uncle and a couple of cousins who we saw over the coming days.

At Christmas our father would sing us a song called ‘Petit Papa Noel’ which translates as ‘little Father Christmas’, I can still get quite emotional now thinking about that song. ( I’ve added the lyrics at the end) We would also visit the manger in the square, it was a time to remember loved ones.

Christmas trees and mistletoe are very popular in France and I remember poinsettia plants everywhere. Mistletoe is considered to bring hope for the coming year. In France it was not the custom to send Christmas cards, but New Year cards were sent instead as a symbol of hope for the coming year.

I still remember the local postman would sell calendars that were published by the post office. These calendars were for the coming year and I have fond memories of my grandmother buying “l’Almanach du facteur”. Something that still happens today.

 ‘Petit Papa Noel’ by Tina Rossi from 1946 (original)

Petit Papa Noël – French Lyrics and English Translation

Chorus / Refrain

Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi.

Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should dress well
Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.


C’est la belle nuit de Noel
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
A genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières
Font une dernière prière.

It’s the beautiful Christmas night
The snow spreads its white coat
And their eyes raised towards the sky
On their knees, the little children
Before closing their eyelids
Address a last prayer


Le marchand de sable est passéLes enfants vont faire dodoEt tu vas pouvoir commencerAvec ta hotte sur le dosAu son des cloches des églisesTa distribution de surprises.

The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin,
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.


Il me tarde que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés. 

I can’t wait for sunrise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams

And that I ordered from you.


Et quand tu seras sur ton beau nuage
Viens d’abord sur notre maison
Je n’ai pas été tous les jours très sage
Mais j’en demande pardon.

And when you are on your beautiful cloud
Come first to our house
I wasn’t always very good
But I ask for your forgiveness.


Memories of childhood with my parents and sister.

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

Spain – A European Christmas Story

Christmas holidays are longer Spain.  They run from the 25th December until 6th January that is called the epiphany.  Presents are brought by the three wise men of Gold, Frankincense and Mur who are known as the three kings and children and young people when writing their list of presents would write to the three kings.

Christmas in Spain is about the importance of the nativity scene and people would have a typical stable in their homes including angels, donkey, cow and hay.  This very much highlights the importance of Spain being catholic in faith. Christmas is called “Navidad” and is a very important time of the year.   Most homes in Spain also have a Christmas tree with an angel on the top and Christmas decorations that brings in the festive cheer.

Many Christmas carols are sung in Church including silent night and midnight mass is very important where families attend church after having a big family dinner on Christmas Eve.  Singing Christmas carols takes place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The Spanish word for Christmas carols is: “Villancicos”

During Christmas families meet up and neighbours go round to their homes to wish them a Merry Christmas.  Families also go out to Christmas markets to buy presents for all of the family, however, these markets sell items that include arts and crafts and presents to give to all the children and all the family.  The specific markets don’t sell food compared to other countries. 

Faith is very important in Spain and the family will gather around to have a big family dinner on Christmas Eve where all the family can celebrate Christmas together and also sing Christmas carols.  It is also an opportunity to attend Midnight Mass and celebrate Christmas with family and friends. 

At Christmas the people of Spain eat a wide variety of Foods including, various meats, for example, beef, pork and cured meats.  Seafood is also very important and is eaten at Christmas.  Various cakes are eaten and drinks throughout the festive period.

A personal story:

By Javier Santana Acosta

Q1. What do you have for Christmas dinner?

Growing up in Spain my memories of a typical Christmas dinner would consist of beef, pork, lamb and a wide variety of vegetables.  Seafood is also important at Christmas time and includes, prawns and lobster.  We also have sweets including cakes and a sweet called “Turron” that is a nougat some are chocolate and almonds

Q2. What is your fondest memories of Christmas?

My fondest memories of Christmas were and still are memories of my mum making cakes and the smell of cinnamon it really is a magical time of the year.  Also all my family being together: brothers and sisters

Q3. What types of presents do you get from friends and family?

Typical Christmas presents I would give and receive from family would include, clothes and items for home.  Also bottles of drink or even a watch.  I also ask my family what they would like also.

Image shows picture of Joseph holding baby Jesus while Mary sleeps.  This image is done in sand.

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

EUSS – Kirklees translated videos.

The Migration and Resettlement Team at Kirklees Council has worked with colleagues to produce videos regarding the EUSS application process and support available. Information is available in Polish, Romanian and Hungarian languages.

To access the script in English click here please

For Romanian video click here please

For Polish video click here please

For Hungarian video click here please

 “There is not long left to apply to the European Union Settlement Scheme, so we want to make sure you have you completed your application.”

“It is best to apply as soon as you can. Then you won’t have to worry about losing access to your rights as a resident here in the United Kingdom.”

“We know for some applicants the process may be more complicated, but don’t put it off. Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre are here to help you with your application and their services are free.”

“You are not alone. Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme today or get the support you need to start your application.”

“Call Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre on 0344 848 7970 or fill out the form on their website.” (

“KCALC will call you back with a translator if necessary, it may be easier to ask someone you know to call them for you and arrange this for you. Or you can fill the online form out in your preferred language. But don’t go into their office as appointments must be made over the phone.”

“If you have decided to call Kirklees home, we want to make sure can you continue to live and work here.”

“Search EU Settlement Scheme and apply today”. (Search EU Settlement Scheme)

Asylum Guide Referral – DASH

We are pleased to inform you DASH has launched a new project, Asylum Guides. The aim of this project is to increase the legal literacy of people seeking asylum in the UK. 

Asylum Guides sees trained volunteers matched with one or a small group of people seeking asylum, to provide information about the asylum process – from initial screening through to substantive interview and onto appeals, fresh claims and post decision. Interpreters will be provided. The project is a partnership with Refugee Action. Above all, our Asylum Guides will help those seeking asylum to better navigate their asylum journey.

If you meet people through your service whom this project could help, please refer directly them to me, the Project Coordinator on 07742 282676 or email

For more information please click here

COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

Public Health England has published an update document in November as a guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (COVID-19) (shielding)

In addition to English, the guidance published in 13 languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.

You can find all documents in this link

Community Integration Award

The Community Integration Awards are open until the 30 November 2020. The Awards are aiming to spotlight community level responses to Covid-19 that bring different parts of the community together including migrants and refugees. We’re inviting nominations within three categories, Connecting CommunitiesSafety For All and Equality, Access and Rights.

We know it’s a challenging and busy time for lots of organisations navigating lockdown, but we hope this opportunity will be of interest to groups who are doing vital work in order to gain recognition and support for their efforts.  

We want to reach as many projects and groups in different regions of the UK as possible. Do you think you may be able to promote the Awards within the Yorkshire network? 

The attached flyer has the key details. Further information about eligibility and how to apply can be found here:   

Many thanks in advance, 

For more information please click here

Important Covid guidance translated in to community languages: Script1- staying safe, 2 -isolation and 4-new restrictions

Click here for Arabic             اضغط هنا للغة العربيةScript 1 Script 2 Script 4
Click here for Albanian         klikoni këtu për shqip  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Amharic          ጠቅ ያድርጉ እዚህ ለአማርኛScript 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Farsi                برای فارسی اینجا را کلیک کنید  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Hungarian    Kattintson ide a Magyar  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Kurdish          لێرە كليك بكە بۆ كور د ىScript 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Mandarin      点击这里查看普通话Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Polish             Kliknij tu, aby wybrać j. polski  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Romanian    apăsați aici pentru limba română  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Spanish         Pulse aquí para Español’Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Urdu              اردو کے لئے یہاں کلک کریں  Script 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Guajarati  ગુઆજરાતી માટે અહીં ક્લિક કરોScript 1Script 2Script 4
Click here for Punjabiਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਲਈ ਇੱਥੇ ਕਲਿੱਕ ਕਰੋScript 1Script 2Script 4

You can download the English scripts here:

Also, you can just read the scripts here

Script 1



Mental health support: Solace provides a range of therapeutic services for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

In Kirklees we (Solace) welcome referrals from health professionals, refugee support organisations and other services such as schools or housing teams.  We also welcome enquiries about the service, or any potential referrals if that would be helpful. 

Currently appointments are being delivered on the phone or via zoom.  We are able to provide data top ups if necessary to enable people to participate, and we also provide interpreters when required.  When we can resume face to face work again, our appointments are held at the Whitehouse Centre GP practice.

It is important that prior to making a referral all referrers discuss the potential of working with Solace with the person concerned.  For many people the idea of getting help with their psychological distress is a new concept. 

You may find it helpful to share the attached leaflet with anyone who would like to know more about the service. 

People in Kirklees can also access our two regional projects.  Connecting opportunities is a partnership project to help refugees overcome barriers to employment, and our Child and Family Wellbeing Project is for any family who is part of the resettlement scheme and for the schools who have students on the resettlement scheme. 

Further information can be found on our website including referral forms and more details about the projects. 

For more information click below to download the leaflet  

NEW EUSS workshops

Migration Yorkshire and Seraphus law firm are offering more free online workshops covering various aspects of EU Settlement Scheme.

Please see below a list of available workshops:

New EUSS Workshops – Feb-March 2021

I am pleased to confirm that free EUSS workshops are continuing throughout February and March, starting from 24th Feb. There is a new workshop on EU joining family members, as this is a new group of EU nationals arriving to the UK from 1 January 2021. Please see below a list of all workshops with dates and times, and links to the Eventbrite registration.

If there are any other topics you would like workshops to cover please let me know and I’ll explore the possibility of having them added from April.

  • EU nationals with pre-settled status

Wed, 24th February 10:00-11:30am

Thurs, 11th March 10:00-11:30am

  • EU Settlement Scheme in the ‘Grace period’

Wed, 3rd March 10:00-11:30am

Thurs, 18th March 10:00-11:30am

  • EU Settlement Scheme and EU joining family members

Wed, 24th March 10:00-11:30am

  • Progress of the EU Settlement Scheme

Wed, 31st March 10:00-11:30am  Covid 19 information for migrants and services in Yorkshire and Humber. Resources to share.  |  @migrationyorks

Migration Yorkshire is the Yorkshire and Humber regional migration partnership and is hosted by Leeds City Council. Migration Yorkshire works with national, regional and local partners to ensure that the region can deal with, and benefit from, migration.

  • EU nationals with pre-settled status – Wed, 18th November 10:00-11:30am and Thurs, 3rd December 1:00-2:30pm
  • EU Settlement Scheme in the ‘Grace period’ – Mon, 23rd November 10:00-11:30am and Thurs, 10th December 1:00-2:30pm
  • Progress of the EU Settlement Scheme – Thurs, 26th November 1:00-2:30pm

For more details and how to register for each workshop please read the file below

new guide to help refugees open a bank account

The Refugee Council has created a banking guide to help make this process easier for refugees. The guide explains how bank accounts work in the UK, the documents that banks require applicants to provide, how to make an application for a new account and tips for avoiding financial scams.

The guide is available in English, ArabicFarsiKurdishPashto and Tigrinya.

For more information please click here

Winter Clothing Scheme – Thrice As Nice

This is a message from DASH

Dear Friends and Supporters

I hope you’re keeping well and warm. I’m writing to let you know about DASH’s winter appeal. Our clients need winter clothes. It’s been much harder to distribute donated goods since our drop-ins had to be suspended. Whilst most of our service has continued remotely, the clothing donations stopped. But we’ve found a solution…

This innovative new scheme will benefit our clients by enabling them (from 2nd December or when rules permit) to shop for their own clothes – giving them choice, dignity and the opportunity to integrate.

An added bonus to this appeal is that a single donation will end up benefitting two local charities – DASH and Kirkwood Hospice. The latter does excellent work caring for those with life-limiting illnesses. 

The triple bonus is that the wonderful folk at One Community Kirklees have pledged to match all money raised by this appeal, pound for pound, making each donation Thrice As Nice!

Our target is £1500, which One Community would take to £3000. This would buy a substantial amount of vouchers for individuals and families living in financial hardship.

Huddersfield Job Centre Closed for 7 days

Posted on 3 November 2020: Huddersfield Jobcentre will be closed due to unforeseen circumstances for the next 7 days.

Some staff will be working from home and for any urgent enquiries regarding vulnerable claimants please phone DWP Social Justice Team: 01484 228127.

For all other Universal Credit queries, please contact Universal Credit Service Centre: 0800 328 5644 and Legacy Benefits contact: 0800 1690310

Refugees and Asylum Seekers Mental Health Training

Solace and the Migration and Resettlement Team at Kirklees Council are delivering training to raise awareness about asylum seekers and refugees mental health and support available locally, the training is for council staff and partners.

Date and Time

Thu, 29 October 2020

10:30 – 12:30 GMT

outcome of the session

  • Helping you to understand the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Explaining Solace’s therapeutic services and how to refer asylum seekers and refugees to Solace
  • Raising awareness of signposting asylum seekers and refugees to other organisations
  • Giving strategies for communicating with asylum seekers and refugees
  • Expanding awareness of issues of work with asylum seekers and refugees and self-care

to book your place:

Your Health and Wellbeing

Kirklees Council produced a leaflet of useful health and wellbeing related support services for you and people you know. All these services are free to access providing you meet the criteria.

We believe that it’s really important to take care of your health and wellbeing, please read the document carefully and share it widely.

New Job Opportunity: Bi-Lingual Support Worker (Arabic and English or Kurdish Sorani and English)

We have  a vacancy with the International New Arrival Team based within the Learning Service. If you would like further information please give me a call Kathryn Howard – INAT project manager on 01484 221000.

Closing date

12 October 2020, 11:55 PM

Black History Month 2020

Each year Black History Month is celebrated in Kirklees but due to the coronavirus outbreak, many of this year’s events will be held virtually. We have produced the attached booklet with details of events organised by community groups and individuals, local organisations and Kirklees Council.

Here are just a few examples of the fantastic events taking place in October.

  • Black Inventors, England’s Hidden History and Shakespeare and Race
  • Online exhibitions including: ‘No Ordinary Time’ and ‘Welcome to the Motherland’
  • ‘Windrush: Untold Stories’ and ‘Huddersfield and the NHS: The Caribbean Connection’
  • ‘Hear our Story’ podcast and ‘The Distracted Journey: Poems from a Slave’
  • Workshops for the Permanent Black History Mural Wall, surgeries for family tree research and Launch of Windrush Garden at Springwood
  • Musical events celebrating Rap and Gospel!

“This year’s theme of Black History Month is ‘Women in Achievement’. From politics to sport, performing arts to science, from fellow councillors to colleagues, we should celebrate the achievements of black females who continue to inspire and excel.“ Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council

for the full details please click here

Introduction to Migration training

Migration Yorkshire and Kirklees Council are delivering “Introduction to Migration” training for Kirklees Council staff, partners and volunteers work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who are living in the UK.

Training will be held via Zoom and link will be sent prior to the training.

Tuesday, 3rd Nov 1.30pm – 4pm

Password: MYT123

EU Settlement Scheme Training

Would you benefit from knowing more about the EU Settlement scheme (EUSS)? If you have service users, volunteers, friends, family or colleagues who need to apply for EUSS we can help you to help them with some free online training.

This is a joint work between Kirklees Council and Citizen Advice and Law Centre to deliver six sessions about EU Settlement Scheme.

The training will be delivered by Jamie McLean, and Teams platform will be used for the training.

Session outcomes

1)      How to recognise potential EUSS cases

2)      What to do when you have identified an EUSS case

3)      The requirements for an EUSS application / what needs to be in place at the outset

4)      The deadline – and what happens afterwards

5)      Status documents and the potential issues

Various dates available from:

Thursday 21 January 2021, 4pm ,

Thursday 11 February 2021, 4pm

Thursday 4 March 2021 4pm,

Thursday 25 March 2021, 4pm

Thursday 15 April 2021 4pm,

Thursday 6 May 2021, 4pm

click on the link below to book a place