The launch of Huddersfield Town of Sanctuary was an amazing event with a sense of energy and enthusiasm for the idea of welcoming and including people seeking sanctuary in our everyday activities.
We were expecting 100 people and were amazed and delighted to see over 200! A wonderful diversity of ages, cultures, faiths and races was to be seen in the people who were present. Masoumeh Kalhorynajad had prepared fantastic food, a whole range of dishes and colours and tastes with plenty for everyone.
The Mayor of Kirklees, Andrew Palfreeman gave a formal welcome and commended the ideals of the Town of Sanctuary, wishing it luck for the future. We were glad to have Craig Barnett, the National Co-ordinator, from Sheffield with us, and we watched the City of Sanctuary film.
Dieudonne Manirakiza and the Burundi Drummers performed with such energy and life echoing the general feeling of the evening. In smaller groups we were able to consider how we might make Huddersfield a Town of Sanctuary for refugees and people fleeing persecution in their own countries.
People commented afterwards that it made them feel proud to live in Huddersfield, how it was such a vibrant and well attended event, and how, to echo the words of the Mayor, they looked forward to Huddersfield becoming the first Town of Sanctuary in the UK.