Tag Archive: Castleford

From fleeing home to flying high: Refugee stands up to adversity through Rugby League

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STAR OF THE FUTURE: After arriving in the UK from Afghanistan, Said has thrived as a young rugby star

STAR OF THE FUTURE: After arriving in the UK from Afghanistan, Said has thrived as a young rugby star

At the age of just 11, Said Jamal was forced to flee his home country of Afghanistan after his father was killed by Taliban forces.

Unable to speak English and facing all the challenges that come with moving to a new foreign land, he settled in Rotherham with his mother and siblings where he still lives today.

Despite facing such difficult times in his young life, Said refused to be brought down by the adversity which had struck his family and excelled in the UK, learning to speak fluent English and discovering a passion for rugby league.

Earlier this month, the now 15-year-old was presented with the ‘Overcoming Adversity Award’, at the Sheffield Celebration of Sport dinner, after signing for Castleford Tigers on a Scholarship scheme.

APPLAUDED: Said Jamal was presented with the Overcoming Adversity Award at the Sheffield Celebration of Sport dinner

APPLAUDED: Said Jamal was presented with the Overcoming Adversity Award at the Sheffield Celebration of Sport dinner

His inspirational story earned him 70 per cent of the votes in the category and a prestigious award, presented to him by BBC Sports presenter Tanya Arnold.

“I was not expecting to win,” the humble teen told the Asian Express. “I am very happy to receive the award but it is the support I have received from Dearne Valley, Castleford and my school that means the most to me.”

Said’s first foray into the world of rugby league came at Clifton Community School, where he was spotted by Sheffield Rugby League stalwart Mitch Stringer.

He went on to join Dearne Valley Bulldogs in the Yorkshire Junior League before signing for Castleford Tigers after some impressive performances.

Said became captain of his team within a year of joining the club and now has dreams of becoming a professional Rugby League player for the Tigers.

“I'm in my second year at Castleford now and I love it here,” he said.

“It's my ambition to play Super League for them one day. That would be a dream come true for me.

“It's really nice to have been recognised but the media attention is a little weird, it's so great to receive everyone's support though.”

This latest award is not the first time Said has been recognised for his inspirational story.

Earlier this year, he was invited to be a VIP at the Super League Grand Final between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford. He was then selected to pass over the match ball to referee Robert Hicks ahead of kick off in his Dearne Valley strip.

Police adopt key community hubs this June so locals can engage with officers

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Post Office PC’s

ENGAGING WITH THE PUBLIC: Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain says that Post Offices are places where the elderly and vulnerable regularly visit

ENGAGING WITH THE PUBLIC: Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain says that Post Offices are places where the elderly and vulnerable regularly visit

Wakefield Police are to partner with the Post Office this June to give residents a ‘first class’ chance to engage with local officers.

PCSO’s across Wakefield District are to ‘adopt’ a local Post Office as part of a new initiative to give residents more opportunities to see their local officers in familiar settings.

Community support officers will now be available in post offices in communities in Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford, Airedale, Outwood, Hemsworth and more at peak times to make themselves available to local residents.

The scheme has been a hit in other parts of the country and is now coming to Wakefield as part of officers continued commitment to neighbourhood policing in the district.

It will launch at the main post office on Northgate in Wakefield at 11.30am on Wednesday 8th June.

Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, District Commander of Wakefield District Police, said: “As a policing service we are always keen to make the best of any opportunities to improve engagement with residents, and are very pleased to be working with the Post Office on this new initiative.

“Post Offices are key community hubs which residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, regularly visit.  

“This makes them ideal places for officers to interact with the public and provides us with additional opportunities to make ourselves more accessible to those who may need our services the most.

He added:  “Our officers will be on hand at the busiest times of day to offer crime prevention and security advice and have a general chat with visitors who want to speak with them.

“Experience suggests this initiative has been very popular elsewhere and we are pleased to bring it to West Yorkshire.”

 Senior Post Office Security Manager Amy Quirk said: “We are always looking to create new partnerships with the police which will benefit not just our two organisations, but the community as a whole.

“The Post Office remains at the heart of communities up and down the country, and we are happy to provide locations in West Yorkshire for the police to utilise in terms of liaising with customers and conveying key security messages.”

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “This new initiative has my full support. It’s incredibly important that the police are accessible to all the communities of West Yorkshire.

“Post offices are an ideal location for this scheme and it goes to show again how crucial PCSOs are in community policing. I will continue to do my best to protect frontline, visible policing to make sure all our communities are safer and feel safer.”

ISON HARRISON SOLICITORS: Leeds’ licensing specialists

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IanAnderson_SearchPic (300x450)Ison Harrison Solicitors have been a stalwart of the West Yorkshire legal scene for almost 40 years and in the last 10 years have expanded their operation significantly.

The firm now has 10 offices and employs over 200 staff including 65 solicitors. The firm specialise in a number of areas of law including conveyancing, family law, personal injury, driving offences, immigration, employment, criminal law and law for businesses but the spotlight has recently been thrown on their expertise in licensing law following a number of successful taxi licensing cases.

In the first case it was alleged that a private hire driver had been ‘plying for hire’ in Headingley, Leeds and had picked up a fare which had not been pre-booked. The firm’s lawyers argued that the driver accidentally collected the wrong person. The solicitor dealing with the case was able to show that a fare had been booked for the driver and present vital computer evidence showing that the driver had contacted his operator moments before he was pulled over by the police and explained that he may have picked up the wrong person.

The case against the driver was dropped as a result of the computer evidence and he received his licence back the following day.

In the second case, Ison Harrison solicitor advocate Ian Anderson persuaded Leeds City Council to return a driver’s licence after he pleaded guilty to an assault. In that case, a highly persuasive letter was all that was needed to convince the Council to change their decision and allow the driver to return to work.

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At Ison Harrison we understand how important a private hire or hackney carriage licence is to a driver and their family and we treat all our licensing cases as a priority. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients in the shortest possible time frame.

Ison Harrison can provide confidential, friendly and clear advice for all types of licensing matters. Our specialist lawyers can be contacted on 0113 284 5062 or by email to The firm can offer appointments at any of its branches in Leeds, Garforth, Cross Gates, Chapel Town, Chapel Allerton, Ilkley, Guiseley, Morley, Castleford or Pontefract.