St Augustine's Centre
Many of our pupils at St Augustine's have benefitted from the support and work of the centre. We support a lot of their activities and link with them to celebrate Refugee Week each year. Last year, we had a collection of books and games to donate to their Free Shop, organised by the Y5 pupils and Mrs Barker. We also made orange hearts which were displayed at The Orange Box in Halifax to support the welcome of Afghan refugees to Calderdale. St Augustine's Centre is located next door to the school. Find out a little bit more about them below or follow the hyperlink to their website.
In 1968 Denise Keenan from St. Augustine’s Church here in Park Ward, began running a pre-school play group. She and a small team of volunteers extended this to community lunches, English classes and social activities in response to local need. When Calderdale became a dispersal area for people seeking asylum in the early 2000’s we started to support people who had arrived locally to settle into life in the UK.
In 2009 St Augustine’s Centre became an independent charity, continually evolving and welcoming all, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background. Now Calderdale’s specialist charity working with people seeking asylum and refugees as well as local people, we have 16 staff, 170 volunteers and a community of 650 individuals and families from 57 countries.
We offer specialist advice on immigration and asylum support, and one to one support with welfare, housing, health and access to wider services. We provide hot meals, English language classes, training, cultural, social and wellbeing activities, trips and volunteering opportunities. We offer spaces for reflection and a befriending and integration service. As a core member of the Valley of Sanctuary, we want to share stories and build awareness about the experience for those fleeing war and persecution, advocating and campaigning locally and nationally.
52 years on, Denise still volunteers at St Augustines.