About migrantcommunitynetwork

Migrant Communities Network works on ways that individuals can organise themselves and to help the people of Leeds and the city’s new arrivals. Over the last year our workers and volunteers been taking a crash course on all things “Leeds” and the “UK” and then we make sure that people from our communities are getting the right messages about what services do and what they don’t do. This not only helps people who are new to the UK to navigate what can sometimes be a bureaucratic nightmare (can’t get a flat ‘til you have a bank account, can’t get a bank account ‘til you have an address etc) but it really helps Leeds’ services to do what they do best when people know what to expect and how to use the services well. Migrant Communities Network is part of Leeds Migration Partnership. This is a strategic partnership of agencies and organisations who work together to make sure that Leeds gets the benefits of migration to the city, People don’t cross oceans and continents if they don’t have something about them – and tapping in to their skills and potential can only make our city better. Watch this space. By R Loftus Leeds City Council Adult Social Care April 2012 Web site & Blog managed by Shafique Sheikh @ShafiqueSheikh Shaff.mcn@gmail.com

Finance Controller opportunity @ Leeds Counselling


We are seeking a part-time Finance Controller (17.5-21 hrs pw) to account for a number of different and changing income streams, and to provide accounting information to the Senior Management Team. The postholder will report to the charity’s part-time Finance Director, and be responsible to the Charity Director. There is scope for the role to develop over the next two years, as our current Finance Director works towards retirement. The postholder will need to be comfortable both with some day to day financial processing (though this will be supported by the charity’s administrative staff), with establishing systems and processes, and with taking a broad view of the role’s contribution to the charity’s overall development.

The post is based at Leeds Bridge House in Leeds city centre and further details can be found on our website

Please feel free to disseminate this information to colleagues.

Leeds Counselling


Junior Bodyline Offer

bodyline 1The New Year campaign for young people is now live for all 14 – 18 yr olds who can access 2 months of junior bodyline membership for £5.00 which will include a gym induction, water bottle and towel.

 Anyone over 14 yrs old can now access gym, fitness classes and swimming without parents or guardians at any time, which means that there is more flexibility of when they can access the various sessions.

Just go to www.choosegodo.co.uk for information and to download the voucher.

Please could you circulate this information to all partners who may be able to direct young people to the site.

For more information please contact:
Laura Smales
John Charles Centre for Sport
Middleton Grove
LS11 5DJ
0113 3951246
07891 275376
bodyline 2

Voulunteers required by Leeds Refugee Forum

lrf logoOne Community Centre

Cromwell Street

Leeds, LS9 7SG


Leeds Refugee Forum have a number of volunteer positions available in February 2013


Administrative Assistants

Enthusiastic volunteers required with organizational and administrative experience or skills. For general office support, including:

  • Word processing
  • Creating and maintaining filing systems
  • Assist with database management, membership records, correspondence, photocopies, training/information packets and mailings as well as contributing to the Newsletter and assisting with information updates.

IT Support

Volunteers with IT support skills needs for teaching beginner computer users:

  • Very Basic Computer Skill
  • Computer Vocabulary
  • Opening and Saving Files
  • Skills and activities Practice
  • MS Word Exercises
  • Internet

If you feel that you have the skills or experience to volunteer for Leeds Refugee Forum (LRF):

 Please send a resume (CV) and brief statement of interest to info@leedsrefugeeforum.org.uk.

Your statement should include when you are available and how many hours per week you are prepared to commit. You will be contacted shortly to schedule an interview.

If you have any queries regarding this please do not hesitate to ring Ali Mahgoub on 0113 244 9600

Please note that all LRF volunteer positions are unpaid, but transportation reimbursement is available.

lrf poster feb13

Celebrating Chinese New Year @ Hamara Community Cafe

Chinese new year2013 hamara
For more information please contact:
Habib Khan.
Business Development Manager
Hamara (Bringing Communities Together)
Tempest Road
LS11 6RD
Tel: 0113 277 3330
Ext: 224
Fax: 0113 277 3330
Email; habibk@hamara.co.uk
Website; http://www.hamara.org.uk

FREE HALF DAY SEMINAR For Activists and Campaignersx

A seminar hosted by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Regional Asylum Activism. We are honored to have Carlos Saavedra from United States with us on the day to talk about his experiences of campaigning and activism for immigrants and its lessons for us in Yorkshire and Humberside.

For Activists and Campaigners
ST GEORGE’S CENTRE, Great George Street Leeds, LS1 3BR

Carlos Saavedra is the national coordinator of United We Dream, the largest Latino youth organisation representing undocumented young people in the United States. In the recent 2012 Presidential elections United We Dream, also known as the DREAMers, was credited with helping to force President Obama into signing an Executive Order to defer deportations and create a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented students.

Please note that this is a free seminar but you have to book your place in advance.

To book a place for this event, please email your name(s), organisation (if applicable) and contact details to
Kaveh Azarhoosh at yandh@regionalasylumactivism.org
by Monday 11th February 2012.
Unfortunately, we have to limit attendance to two people per organisation. Places
will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Travel expenses will be available to asylum seekers, if arranged in advanced.

If you have any question about this seminar please do not hesitate to contact us.

Maureen Grant
Development Officer
West Yorkshire Racial Justice Programme Yorkshire & Humber

Kaveh Azarhoosh
Regional Activism Coordinator
Asylum Activism



West Yorkshire Trading Standards (WYTS) is working in partnership with Leeds city council and NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds to raise awareness of the health risks of using niche tobacco to the BME communities of Beeston, Harehills, Hyde park and Burley. The sessions can be delivered on weekdays, evenings and weekends if necessary to suit the needs of service users.

WYTS is also offering free training for health and non-health professionals who work

in these particular areas so they can provide their service users with information, raise awareness and signpost to support for Niche Tobacco as appropriate to their role.

The training will provide information about the availability of niche tobacco products, the health impacts of using niche tobacco and what support services are available for users.

What is niche tobacco?

Niche tobacco products such as Gutkha, Zarda or Khaini, Nasal snuff, Shisha, Biri or

Beedi cigarettes have been in existence for thousands of years among populations in South America and Southeast Asia. Over time, these products have gained popularity throughout the world.

Smokeless tobacco is consumed without burning the product, and can be used orally or nasally. Oral smokeless tobacco products are placed in the mouth, cheek or lip and sucked (dipped) or chewed and are frequently mixed with other ingredients, including areca nut and slaked lime, within a betel leaf.

Tobacco pastes or powders are used in a similar manner and placed on the gums or teeth. Fine tobacco powder mixtures are usually inhaled and absorbed in the nasal passages.

A new sensation which has grown in popularity rapidly amongst young people is the smoking of Shisha or water pipe. It has become a social occasion like going to the movies or going out for a meal. Young people will plan and go out to cafes for a smoke and to relax. Parents may allow young children to participate as they think it is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking when in fact one full shisha session can contain the same amount of smoke as up to 100 cigarettes.

What are the issues affecting communities?

The Locality Plans and area priorities indicate that the use of tobacco and the water pipe amongst young people is an issue across the district. Also raising the awareness of the wider implications of underage sales and purchases is essential in order to address such issues as the smoke free legislation of 2007.

The niche tobacco pilot project in Bradford and Kirklees in 2011 reported that almost

40% of participants in the project were users of niche tobacco. This is significantly higher than the national average of niche tobacco users. With a large BME community in a number of districts in the county, anecdotal evidence from those workshops suggests that many younger members are actively participating in shisha smoking sessions in the family environment, and are unaware of the health risks associated with this and other niche products.

The workshops found that children as young as 8 were participating in using niche tobacco at celebrations such as Eid and weddings. The project also identified that unlike cigarette smoking older members of the community are tolerant and supportive of niche tobacco usage due to the cultural significance of the products and the lack of awareness about the risks associated with using them.

Mouth cancer has increased in the UK by a staggering 41% in the last 10 years and the last decade has seen an increasing number of patients from BME (Black and Minority

Ethnic) backgrounds being treated for various mouth related illnesses. The World Health

Organisation reports that the Indian Sub Continent accounts for one third of the world’s burden of mouth cancer. Further investigation has identified that many of these illnesses relate to the use of tobacco.

There is sufficient evidence that the use of niche tobacco causes cancer in humans.

Niche tobacco contains carcinogens, which contribute to cancers of the oral cavity and the risk of other head and neck cancers. Niche tobacco use also causes a number of noncancerous oral conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay and can lead to nicotine addiction similar to that produced by cigarette smoking.

Addressing cultural issues

Research has shown that amongst BME communities in the UK, especially those from

South Asian backgrounds, smokeless and chewing tobacco is extremely popular, it is part of daily life and culture and it is now of growing concern that children may be allowed to use these tobacco products due to a lack of knowledge regarding the harmful effects.

Most communities are unaware of the risk to health caused by niche tobacco as the products rarely carry health warnings. As warning labels are more widely associated with cigarettes, this leads to the misconception and belief that other forms of tobacco are a healthier alternative.

Aims and Objectives

The niche tobacco project aims to

  • · raise awareness of the impact of using niche tobacco products amongst South Asian communities
  • · encourage people to reduce their usage and eventually quit the use of such products
  • · promote access to NHS Stop Smoking Services for niche tobacco users wanting support to quit
  • · train healthcare professionals to conduct brief intervention with users
  • · discourage future take up of niche tobacco, particularly amongst young people

Working with members of the community

To raise awareness of the health risks associated with niche tobacco use and to support the south Asian community to make informed health choices West Yorkshire

Trading Standards is working with community centre’s, Imams from the mosque, youth

centre’s, community leaders, children’s centre’s as well as primary and secondary schools enabling interaction with people in a setting in which they are comfortable in.

Each session is tailored to the specific needs of the school, community groups and its young people, in order to achieve the best possible learning outcomes.

Encouraging young people to explore the wider implications of what they often assume is a behaviour that affects only them, and educating them we hope to influence the decisions they make throughout their life, and choose a lifestyle that not only benefits them directly, but all generations to come.

If you would like more information or would like us to deliver training sessions or workshops regarding the effects of niche tobacco please contact:

Babul Hussain (Niche Tobacco Project Lead)

West Yorkshire Trading Standards

Tel: 0113 393 9816

Email: bhussain@wyjs.org.uk.

Healthy Living Training

The one day Healthy Living Training course has been developed to enable frontline workers to effectively deliver evidence based healthy lifestyles messages around food and physical activity. Each attendee will receive a training manual which includes a number of tools to support their personal delivery.

The course will be delivered by Leeds Community Health Care Dietetics, NHS Leeds Health Improvement Specialists and the Health Improvement Team at Leeds City Council.

The course runs from 9.30am – 4.00pm

The Course covers

–        Influence/beliefs

–        Eatwell plate

–        Food hygiene

–        Physical Activity

Aim: To increase understanding of the principles of healthy eating, safe food practices and the importance of being physically activity.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the session you should be able to:

Describe how healthy choices could be made easier for individuals

Understand the components of the Eatwell plate and the evidence based healthy eating messages which should be promoted

List food hygiene good practices which should be promoted

Understand the consistent message around physical activity

Healthy Living Training poster

Steps to Settlement – RETAS


RETAS Based on Roundhay road have now opened for recruitment for their new Steps to Settlement programme – the first 10 week programme will be begin on Monday 24th of September. ThE programme is open to asylum seekers and refugees who have been in the UK less than 24 months. Food is provided and we are able to provide £2 travel expenses for each participant on each day.

Steps to Settlement:

–          will enable refugees living in Leeds to transition well from leaving the asylum system and to positively engage with mainstream UK society

–          involves fundamental steps towards successful integration and settlement in Leeds. The 10 week programme involves 20 refugees taking four steps: Sanctuary, Serenity, Skills and Settlement

–          Within each step a diverse range of compulsory modules will be delivered, focusing on english language, well-being, confidence building, digital learning, financially sustainable living and employability.

–          Takes place at RETAS on Mondays and Tuesdays – only 20 refugees are available for each programme, so bookings must be made first

–          There are 4 programmes (4x10weeks) between September 2012 and the end of July 2013

RETAS are looking for referrals and for partner organisations who would like to get involved. To book places or for further details please contact chrisbrooks@retasleeds.org.uk or any member of RETAS staff.

Direct (0113) 380 5632 Reception (0113) 380 5630

Leeds Young Filmmakers Involvement Event (Oct 2012)


copy of poster

Hello Everyone

I came across this event on the Breeze Leeds website and feel that this something all Migrant Community Networkers (MCN’s) and Colleagues from the health, social, youth, community and schools sector should use to engage young people. This FREE launch event on Tuesday 2nd October at between 3.30pm and 6pm. Please register your support and find out more about this fantastic film competition which is open to Leeds young people aged 3-19 who can enter with their school, college, youth, community group or just with a group of friends. I have attached a flyer for you to print and promote to your community or organisation.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s competition and awards ceremony, The Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owl Awards is scheduled to take place at Leeds Town Hall on Wednesday 27th March 2013. It will be a black tie ‘OSCARS’ style event with red carpet, celebrities, look-a-likes and notables from Leeds City Council, Children’s Services and School Improvement.
The awards will represent the culmination of a film competition open to all schools in Leeds, as well as community groups and individuals aged 3-19, and will offer a public platform to celebrate the best of young film-making across the city. Representing more than just a glitz and glamour event, it will highlight the impact film can have on making a positive difference to the lives of young people. Leeds City Council has endorsed this event as an excellent example of work that supports it Child Friendly City aspirations and fully supports, encourages and endorses the creative endeavours of young people. The launch event will provide you with all the information you need to find out how you get involved including;
• Details on how to enter existing and new films
• Demonstrations and examples of films from last year’s event
• Available support for making films for submissions
• A market place of film making resources that are available across the City
Drinks and ‘nibbles’ will be provided.
To find out more about how you, your community and your young people could win one of the
prestigious Golden Owls Awards, please complete and return the booking slip attached:

Shafique Sheikh
Migrant Community Network