A warm welcome to Bradford
Bradford’s title as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ will be further reinforced by some of the region’s younger members next month as a special refugee welcoming event is staged at Dixons City Academy.
Sixth form students at the school are currently organising a special evening for the city’s Syrian population, which continues to grow as the UK lives up to its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrians over the next five years.
Over 100 families from the war-torn nation currently reside in Bradford, more than any other city in England.
Ihsan Ahmed, who is part of the DCA Syrian Action Team, explained why the students were so eager to help some of city’s newest residents.
“As sixth form students we were devastated to hear about the news in regards with Syria over the summer,” he said.
“So after the holidays, we have been working closely with Horton Housing Association in Bradford, who are involved with housing new refugees arriving in Bradford.
“We have been told that they will bring around 100 Syrian refugees to our event. It has been organised to welcome the Syrian refugees to Bradford and to show our support for them.”
On the night, attendees will receive free food and gifts, many of which have been donated by local businesses after being approached by the students.
Over £1,000 has also been raised as part of the project to provide extra support for local refugees.
Debbie Vickerman, Student Voice co-ordinator at Dixons was full of praise for the attitude the students had shown.
“When the children first approached me about helping the refugees, we had a number of ideas,” she said.
“After doing some research, we found that driving down to Calais with a bus full of supplies might not be the best way of making an impact as so many people are doing that.
“Instead, the children have been working hard to organise this event here at the school to give local Syrian families a special night which I’m sure they will love.”
The group consulted Abdul Aziz, from Horton Housing, about what to include on the night due to his close relationship with many of the city’s Syrian families.
Amongst the events on the night will be an auction, party games and a sit down meal. Dignitaries, including councillors, the Lord Mayor, school governors and police chiefs will all be in attendance.
The event will run from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 21st April.