Charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers have been brought together under one roof in Leeds.
The Refugee Council launched a new hub – providing a “flexible mix of office and activity space” – near Hanover Square in the city centre in the hope of creating better collaboration between agencies.
Maurice Wren, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “Leeds and its surrounding areas have a long and proud tradition of supporting refugees and people seeking asylum.
“The reality is that most of these people will at some point end up relying on the support of local charities, whether for help with the basics – getting a roof over their head, food on their table, clothes on their back – or with their mental wellbeing, or their wish to find work and to live independently in the UK.
“It is therefore vital that people know what support is out there and where they can find it.
“By bringing together key asylum and refugee charities in Leeds to work in partnership and under the same roof, it will be much easier for the people we all exist to help to get the support they need.
“We want this fantastic new venue to be a place where refugees and people seeking asylum can take rest and find the strength and support they need in order to rebuild their lives.”
Charities which will be included LASSN, City of Sanctuary, Asylum Matters, the Alternatives to Violence Project, the Zimbabwe Educational Trust, Touchstone and Solace.
Among their remits are teaching English, providing psychotherapy and offering employment. The hub will also host the My View project, which offers therapeutic counselling to unaccompanied young people seeking asylum, and is delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross and UpRising.