Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and asylum seekers across the country, and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary.
This year’s theme is ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’.
Calderdale has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from around the world and has developed a Valley Of Sanctuary, a growing network of organisations who come together to make the borough a welcoming place for all, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution.
St Augustine’s Centre, a Valley of Sanctuary member, is running a ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ mass walk on Sunday June 20– World Refugee Day – in celebration of Refugee Week and in memory of Jo Cox
Councillor Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, said: “Kindness, diversity and togetherness are just some of the things that make Calderdale such a special place. We embrace the contribution that refugees and asylum seekers make to Calderdale’s story.
“The Council is a proud member of the Valley of Sanctuary and works with other organisations to maintain a welcoming and friendly borough for everyone, where kindness and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do.
“The importance of Refugee Week is being highlighted by lighting up the iconic Wainhouse Tower in orange as a symbol of our communities’ support, and through a range of events that everyone can take part in.”
Part of the Council’s work to support refugees and asylum seekers is through its partnership with St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax.
Work includes supporting refugees with housing, benefits claims, healthcare, language skills, employment, education and volunteering opportunities, and activities that build social connections.
Phoebe Hendy, a Caseworker at St Augustine’s Centre, said: “As Calderdale’s specialist charity working with people seeking asylum and refugees, we are delighted to celebrate Refugee Week and the incredible contribution that refugees make to Calderdale.
“Come meet us and find out more about us at The Great Get Together at The Piece Hall on Saturday, or walk with us on Sunday 20 June from People’s Park. There’s so many fantastic events happening this week, we hope everyone makes the most of it.”