International stories and food shared in Holbeck

A group of local residents shared their stories and food from all over the world at an event in Holbeck this week.

Twenty migrants who have moved to Holbeck and Beeston in the last few years held a Human Library event at Ingram Gardens Community Centre.

The event was part of the MAP+ (Migrant Access project Plus), which is being delivered by Leeds charity Touchstone. Residents from the Ingram Garden’s sheltered housing were invited to attend, and representatives from the housing team came along to take part on the day.

The group, who hail from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Europe, shared stories about their childhood, their home countries and experiences and their ambitions.

The members of the group have all been on a free training programme with MAP+, which equips them with knowledge about how services work in Leeds which they will use to be Migrant Community Networkers, playing an active role in the local area.

The group have been meeting with services and finding out about topics including health, education and training, schools and how to engage effectively with the community. One of the members May said:

“The information has been very useful. I have used it myself but also to help my friends and family. I have also improved my English, even more than on my ESOL class!”

The next training starts on Thursday 26 April, at the Discovery Centre, off Carlisle Road in Hunslet, runs for 14 weeks and includes travel expenses and free refreshments. Anyone who is from a migrant background, who moved to the UK within the last twelve years, can apply. You will need to have a reasonable level of English to take part (approx Entry level 3).

MAP+ is also looking for volunteers from the local area to be Buddies – to help new arrivals settle in to life in Leeds, show them around, help them navigate and use services and show them the very best Leeds has to offer! Free training, support and travel expenses are provided.

If you are interested in either opportunity to get involved, please call MAP+ on (0113) 248 4880.


This post was written by Zoe Ward using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.