Latest News

Welcome Mentor

The Welcome Mentors “WM” is a service commissioned by Kirklees Councils Communities Service, Third Sector Leaders “TSL” in Kirklees manage the programme working closely with the Councils Migration and Refugee Resettlement Team.

The WM is a befriending service and the team is playing such a vital role especially now during CO19 to reduce isolation and loneliness.

When an individual or a family have been referred, the WM team match them with the right mentor to provide a suitable support.

Currently, there are 70 active welcome mentor across Kirklees. They look after refugees, asylum seekers and migrants individuals and families on daily basis.

In the below video an explanation about the role of WM, what do they on daily basis and what is the criteria of a good welcome mentor. You don’t need to invest a lot of time to join the team and become a mentor. This is an open invitation for everyone to join the Welcome Mentor Team.

Kirklees Libraries – #RefugeeWeek

Through a programme of arts, cultural and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week brings about positive encounters between communities, helping them to connect and learn from each other, and promoting a culture of welcome.

Take a look at our themed collection, choose a book to read and join us.

Books transport us…..Through the page, we can reach out and touch another’s experience, or take a hike with them through the mountains and valleys of their imagination.

We encourage everyone to register with the libraries across Kirklees. Therefore, we produced a leaflet to explain how to register and what we offer. As we don’t want anyone to be excluded, we translated the leaflet to 11 languages in order to try most of the people living in Kirklees. The translation have been done by a group of Kirklees Council employees who volunteered to do translation, as well as, Welcome Mentors volunteers.

Click on the link below for the library e-learning material

Libraries of Sanctuary

City of Sanctuary UK invites organisations across the voluntary, public and private sectors to contribute to a culture of welcome by following three straightforward processes: Learn about what it means to be seeking sanctuary, take positive action to embed the concepts of welcome, safety and inclusion within the context of the organisation and the wider community and share their vision and achievements. Public libraries are a key part of this and we want all Kirklees Libraries to be safe, neutral, welcoming spaces that are accessible to all.

Welcoming people seeking sanctuary from conflict, persecution, environmental issues and other new arrivals, our Libraries of Sanctuary work provides us with a focus to improve and develop our service provision and foster a culture of inclusion and support integration in our communities. We already provide free access to books, e-books and e-audio, including community and dual language titles, along with free access to I.T and various online resources such as Press Reader which hosts a number of international publications.

We offer ESOL provision in our libraries through the delivery of informal library run conversation groups and enable other groups such as ‘Meet, Try and Learn’ to convene and This Way for English (#TW4E) in our space. The Kirklees Welcomes initiatives have already had a positive impact by decreasing loneliness and enabling people to meet and make new friends and learn new skills. We have also worked closely with other partner organisations such as DASH in Huddersfield to provide a dual language storytime including the opportunity to join the library service for the attending families. An important part of this work involved the fact that ID is no longer required to join Kirklees Libraries, therefore removing a very difficult barrier to service access for many people.

We support Refugee Week every year through the delivery of awareness raising events and activities and do this in partnership with others wherever possible. This year we are, of course, somewhat restricted in our participation but are still able to promote our extensive collection of e-books and e-audio on the theme of exile. One of our library members of staff has also recorded a lovely Kurdish poetry reading which we are sharing widely online.  As part of our ongoing Libraries of Sanctuary work we also aim to train all our staff and volunteers to understand issues faced by sanctuary seekers and be able provide them with signposting and support.

Our e-book collection can be found at The Kurdish Poetry Reading can be found at

Watch the video to learn more about Libraries of Sanctuary

Carry My Story

Carry My Story is a Cohesion and Integration based programme in partnership with Kim Strickson, The Linking Network and the Kirklees Council Cohesion Team. The programme works in both primary and secondary schools and also neighbourhoods, with the aim of encouraging story exchanges with refugees, asylum seekers, school children and also the parents of children.

Carry My Story created an opportunity for children from a young age to get first hand experience from asylum seekers and refugees as they shared their stories about their lives, experiences and how they came to the UK . The aim of this is strengthening communication, having open and honest and heart-felt discussions,  challenging preconceptions and creating an save environment where everyone involved showed empathy for others.

Carry My Story encourages children and young people to challenge stereotypes, understand  and embrace difference and celebrate identity, by carrying one another’s stories. It allows safe spaces for people to share stories in a creative and reflective way. This took place in a classroom setting and celebrated in June 2019 with a celebration event where children used their creative abilities to share the refugee story in a light hearted way. They shared their understanding by creating vibrant responses creating plays, story books, poems, theatre productions to celebrate and show their commitment to breaking down barriers and celebrating each and every journey in a positive way. We collected quotes,  photographs and creative responses from the stories shared.

Please take the time to watch the video, it really gets across how powerful this work has been for the schools but also the impact it has had on asylum seekers and refugees sharing their personal experiences.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved last year and to those involved for planning the 2020 programme.

We hope you enjoy and learn from the video below

If the video isn’t working click on the link

ESOL sessions via Zoom

This Way for English is launching a new English sessions classes via Zoom.

The themes will be varied from class to class depending on the English level of participants. However, the main focus of the sessions will be around celebrating the positive impact of refugees in the UK.

In addition, the Libraries Team will visit the virtual sessions to encourage the participants to register with the libraries and explain the available resource they have such as e-books and press reader.

Furthermore, the Welcome Mentor programme will shortly join some of the classes to explain the concept behind the matching process.

For more information about registering and class timetable please see the below leaflet.

The War Childhood Museum

We Have Teamed Up With The War Childhood Museum For Refugee Week 2020

For Refugee Week 2020 we have teamed up with the Childhood War Museum (WCM) to bring a virtual exhibition to our residents of Kirklees. The exhibition features personal objects and stories of children from Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan.

The exhibition aims to advance a better understanding of the difficulty and complexity of the situation of displaced children, both in their home and host countries that would ultimately improve their position.

The WCM continues to highlight the human stories behind statistical data and headlines we see and read about every day. Click here to read some of their stories.

EU Citizens and Brexit: An Introduction to the EU Settlement Scheme

Online workshop via WebEx

Thu, 2 July 2020

1:30pm – 3:30pm

This online workshop is aimed at LAs, charities, third sector organisations and faith and community groups who are already working with EU nationals and their families, or who are likely to come into contact with this group in the future. The purpose of the online workshop is to give frontline staff and volunteers a clear understanding of the process for EU citizens and their family members to apply to legalise their stay in the UK in preparation for Brexit. The workshop will include presentations and delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Following the workshop, delegates will have a greater understanding of:

  • What the EU Settlement Scheme is and what steps EU nationals must take to secure their status after Brexit.
  • The rights that this new immigration status will give to EU citizens and their family members.
  • What constitutes immigration advice and what support needs to be regulated.
  • Where to signpost EU nationals to enable them to obtain other sources of support and further information.

This workshop is organised by Migration Yorkshire and Seraphus. To secure a place, please register at

Additional training option for complex cases

For those involved in supporting more complex cases, there is further free training, covering a range of subjects listed below; to register visit I’m planning to attend all of the above so will share presentation/resources as I get them.

  • An Overview of Complex Cases
  • Working with the Elderly
  • Applicants with Criminal Records
  • Working with Homeless Citizens
  • Working with Children

Support EU Citizens in Kirklees

Applications for the EU Settlement Scheme must be submitted by 30th June 2021.

There is a lot of information including important videos can be found on Kirklees Council Website EU Settlement Scheme page

Also, you need to know that EU citizens could get free and friendly support from Kirklees Law Centre regarding this.

For other issues and to support and celebrate migration in Kirklees visit Kirklees Welcomes.

Free Online Leadership Programme

Applications are now open for ‘Responding to Covid-19 Online Summer Leadership Programme: UK Migration & Refugee Sector’. The programme provides the tools, skills and development to overcome challenges, and to foster relationships that benefit organisations and the sector as a whole. It enables people to reach their leadership potential, build resilience and grow peer support networks during these challenging and uncertain times, through online learning and/or coaching and/or Action Learning Sets.

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, so please don’t delay sharing this email / sending your application. More details here where you can also sign up for the Info and Q&A Webinar link on Eventbrite on Thurs 21 May, 2-3pm. The programme is co-designed and co-delivered by Clore Social Leadership and LEx Movement (Lived Experience Leaders Movement hosted by the Centre for Knowledge Equity).

Engaging Migrant Communities in the context of Covid19

The International Organization for Migration – UN Migration would like to invite you to attend our webinar “Engaging Migrant Communities in the Context of Covid-19: Lessons from the Field”. In this 90-minute webinar we will explore the importance of migrant community engagement, as learned in previous pandemic responses. This will include information on successful methodologies for engaging migrant communities during a pandemic, case studies detailing how culture informs pandemic responses, and further resources to help support the success of local COVID-19 response measures. To better facilitate a more interactive webinar, participation will be limited to 50 attendees per session. We will therefore be offering this webinar on a weekly basis to ensure all who are interested have an opportunity to attend. We have identified the first three dates available below, with additional dates subject to demand.

Dates and time and more information could be found here

How to receive your e-Voucher for Free School Meals

Preferable to use Google Chrome to listen to audio

These posts include important information about how parents could receive the e-voucher for free school meals if their children are entitled to this. You will find the information in a PDF document, as well as, video or audio file. Information is translated into Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, Hungarian, Polish, Amharic, Mandarin, Albanian, Romanian, Spanish and Urdu.

For English script click here

For Arabic script click here.

For Arabic video click here.

For Kurdish script click here.

For Kurdish audio click below.

For Farsi script click here.

For Farsi audio click below.

For Hungarian script click here.

For Hungarian audio click below.

For Amharic script click here.

For Amharic audio click below.

For Romanian script click here.

For Romanian video click here.

For Polish script click here.

For Polish audio click below.

For Spanish script click here.

For Spanish video click here.

For Mandarin script click here.

For Mandarin audio click below.

For Urdu script click here.

For Urdu video click here.

For Albanian script click here.

For Albanian video click here.

Available Funding… Don’t Miss the Deadline

1. Aviva Community Fund

Aviva have broadened the criteria of the Aviva Community Fund to include applications for projects that enable causes to adapt or continue their vital services by covering core running costs, so they can help their beneficiaries and communities during this time of need.

Applications are now open for the next round of the Aviva Community Fund until 5th May. Just click the link above to find out more, and to apply.

2. One Community Foundation funding announcement

One Community Foundation for Kirklees has announced changes to their Coronavirus Fund. The grant making charity who is working with the National Emergency Trust to administer the fund, will now accept applications for up to £2,000 from Kirklees based charities and community groups who are responding to the Coronavirus crisis in Kirklees.

There is a new short form to complete, and applicants will need to supply a bank statement in the name of the group, and a copy of their constitution.

Previous applicants are welcome to apply again once they have completed a short evaluation form.

For example:

  • Organisations that support the on-going needs of vulnerable people to ensure that their health and wellbeing is maintained
  • Organisations in support of activities that relieve pressure on local statutory services, particularly emergency or health and social care provisions, or compliment their repose
  • Groups and activities that support vulnerable people self-isolating (the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions, etc.)
  • Support for food banks and organisations working to combat hardship caused by the pandemic, including child hunger
  • Community response co-ordination
  • Volunteer costs for new and existing organisations responding to the effects of the crisis
  • Additional costs of working remotely and adapting services delivered in the wider community
  • Additional support as required for emotional support, mental health and bereavement support

The fund is currently not accepting applications to counter the loss of income and fundraising.

To make an application please visit If you would like to discuss your application please email

Coronavirus Information videos in Different Languages – Leeds Council

Leeds Council has released videos on 3 main topics in Polish, Romanian, Urdu, Arabic, Czech, Punjabi, Tigrinya, Farsi, Slovak, Kurdish Sorani and Bengali. 1ae

1. Spot the signs – This short film contains information to help people spot the signs of coronavirus and gives advice for households with possible coronavirus infection.

2. Hand washing advice This short film contains information about how you can help stop the spread of viruses, like coronavirus, by practising good respiratory and hand hygiene.

3. Essential advice – This short film contains information for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Click here to watch the videos

Migration Yorkshire – Migrant Information Hub

Migration Yorkshire have just launched the new Migrant Information  

The Migrant Information Hub aims to offer useful information and resources to help migrants, and those supporting them, to stay safe, connected and informed, and to reduce the harmful impacts of coronavirus (Covid-19) on our region and on people’s lives.  It includes new multi-lingual resources, national guidance, local services and support, plus news and updates on specific migrant issues.

We would be grateful if you would circulate details of this resource as widely as possible.