Leeds Polish Catholic Centre throws open doors for heritage day celebration

The Polish Catholic Centre in Chapel Allerton. Picture: Google
The Polish Catholic Centre in Chapel Allerton. Picture: Google

Music and cuisine will be at the heart of a heritage day to bring the city’s Polish community and its neighbours across Leeds closer together.

Tomorrow’s event at the Polish Catholic Centre in Chapel Allerton will be a celebration of the part this community makes in Leeds.

It is one of a number of events being staged across the country this weekend as part of the first Polish Heritage Day, which is designed to break down barriers.

Anna Lysakowska, a member of the centre, said: “It’s hard to know what to expect because it’s the first time we’ve done it, but food will be a big part of the day.

“We want people to see our culture, enjoy our food, dance to our music. Everyone is welcome, absolutely everyone.”

In November last year, the centre was the scene of a meeting hosted by Polish consular staff in the wake of a suspected hate crime.

Many of those present were moved by the empathy shown towards the community in the wake of the attack on two Polish men in Armley.

“As a community, we realised we were just so isolated,” Ms Lysakowska said.

“Since that day we have put a lot of effort into trying to engage with other communities. The event is being held to celebrate that.”

The centre has worked with organisations such as Catch, a youth organisation based in nearby Harehills, as well as setting up workshops run by hate crime support workers.

This in turn has inspired members of the centre to do more to build links and play an active role in city life.

Ms Lysakowska said: “We’re going to celebrate our young people who are involved in a lot of projects around Leeds. We want them to be an example.”

The celebration at the centre in Chapeltown Road will take place from 2pm tomorrow.