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Newsletter – April 2024

We are pleased to let  know  you that the name of our charity has been changed to reflect the role that Knaresborough plays.  There are many Resettlement and Ukrainian families living in the town and we have a very strong, dedicated and proactive band of  Knaresborough-based volunteers who work tirelessly on their behalf.

There are now over 40 resettlement families in the  Harrogate and Knaresborough district. Several  from Afghanistan have been rehomed in Harrogate and Knaresborough in recent weeks and there are more to come. We therefore have an increasing need for volunteers to act as befrienders so if you are interested in taking on this role, maybe for the first time, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Derek Gibson on  [email protected]. Also, if you are an experienced befriender might you be able to support new ones in a mentor role? If so, please let Derek know.

A message  to Members from the Treasurer:

There is no subscription charge to Volunteers but we levy a £10 per year charge to Members. If you are not currently paid up to date, may we respectfully request that you do so by the 31st May.  Please pay either by cheque  to Harrogate District of Sanctuary and mail to D. Brickles, 77 Oakdale, Harrogate HG1 2LT  or by BACS to Harrogate District of Sanctuary, Account number 09890684, Sort Code 09-01-29. If we don’t hear from you by  31st May we will assume that you no longer wish to continue your membership.

Thank you.

Forthcoming events:

On Saturday 4th May we are hosting a get-together of the Afghan families at The Friends Meeting House,  Queen Parade, Harrogate. This is to provide an opportunity for the most recently arrived families in the district and in Ripon to socialise with the established families and tod get to know one  another. There will be lunch for all, and an entertainer for the children. If you are available to help at this event please contact Derek at the email address above.


This important national awareness-raising series of events will take place between 17th and 23rd June. We have several functions planned for our district which we would like to let you know about.

We are starting early with the screening at the Harrogate Odeon of a Ukrainian animation  film called MAVKA on May 22nd at pm.  This is being presented as a joint event with Harrogate Film  Society and  is suitable for all ages. Tickets can be booked through the Harrogate Film Society website (£6/adult, £3/under 25s) The charge includes tea/coffee/soft drink and refreshments  provided by our Ukrainian community.

Moving on to June:

On the 19th June at 7pm, again at the Odeon, Harrogate,  in conjunction with  Harrogate Film Society there will be a screening of THE OLD OAK, a heartwarming film directed by Ken Loach about the acceptance into a northeastern community of a family of Syrian refugees. Tickets at  £10 (£5 for under 5s) to include refreshments will be available through the Harrogate Film Society website (see above).

On the 22nd June  the highly successful local pop-up restaurant known as The Afghan Kitchen will be putting on  an authentic meal at St Mark’s Church Hall, Leeds Road at a cost of £28 per head for the meat option  and £25  for the vegetarian.

Reservations for this can be made at [email protected] . You are recommended to book early as numbers are limited and demand will be high.

Looking further ahead, on Saturday 6th July we are hosting a picnic open to all our refugee families. This will take place at Conyngham Hall. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather! More information nearer the time.

And finally:

We are no longer running the Monday evening drop-in for the Ukrainians as numbers attending decreased significantly. We see this as a positive thing as it shows that the need is no longer there as people have settled into life and work here very well.  We continue to support and fund English classes for many of the Ukrainians and we  will be supporting the  Saturday morning “Ukrainian School” which is to help the children keep up with their first language.

We also continue to fund English at Home lessons for the Resettlement families. If you are interested in this kind of support and would like to volunteer please contact Nina Jolly on [email protected].