‘SCHOOL OF SANCTUARY’: Syrian refugees welcomed by city’s students


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BUSY EVENT: Hundreds attended the event last week, with members of all communities involved

BUSY EVENT: Hundreds attended the event last week, with members of all communities involved

Dozens of members of Bradford’s Syrian community turned out for a special event last week, organised to welcome them into the city.

Students at Dixons City Academy were behind the project and brought together local businesses and dignitaries for an entertaining evening in aid of West Yorkshire’s newest residents.

Speeches, games, raffles and free toy giveaways were crammed into the busy itinerary, alongside performances from special guests and students.

Sir Nick Weller, Head of Dixons Academy group, said: “I am proud of what the students have achieved and hope this inspires other youngsters to follow the humanitarian spirit shown by the youngsters.”

The students, under the banner – ‘Dixons Syrian Action Team’ – spent months organising the event after stating their desire to help the worldwide refugee crisis.

Millions of people remain displaced by war in their home countries, with refugee camps across Europe continuing to grow daily.

FREE TO PLAY: Children were given free toys and clothes during the evening

FREE TO PLAY: Children were given free toys and clothes during the evening

Opting to help refugees ‘on their doorstep’, the group of students made it their goal to bring Bradford together for the event.

Sixth form student and member of the Dixons Syrian Action Team, Ihsan Ahmed, said he was delighted with the night’s success.

“This event has truly been a success,” he said. “From what the Syrian refugees have told us and the smiles on their faces, they have enjoyed it immensely.”

Adding: “Quotes from families on the night included: ‘I didn’t think the people of UK would be this kind to us, you’re like a second family to us’ and ‘We hope our children grow up to be like you’.”

Bradford is officially a ‘City of Sanctuary’, housing more Syrian refugees than any other city in the UK with approximately 100 families housed there.

Last week’s event provided an opportunity, not only for dignitaries to meet with Bradford’s newest arrivals, but also provided a chance for Syrians to meet fellow countrymen and women.

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