Sunday, April 2, 2023
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Reporters from around the world

By Anne Akers

We couldn’t bring you the West Leeds news without our team of 50 volunteer reporters who have undertaken our free training course. It’s thanks to them that we can feature stories from all over the district.

Most of our community reporters come from or are connected to our towns and villages in West Leeds, but our latest group have come a long way to be with us and want to tell their story of the Armley-based charity which has helped them.

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The dozen or so women from Meeting Point, which is based at Christ Church, have come to the UK as refugees and asylum seekers from countries including Afghanistan, Iran and Nigeria. At Meeting Point they are able to get help and advice, find friendship, and learn and improve their English. And for the past couple of weeks, they have been hearing from WLD Editor John Baron and Chair Anne Akers, about community reporting.

Most have had long and difficult journeys from their home countries and may not be able to return for a long time, if ever, so Meeting Point has been an important place for them to learn about their new country. We therefore asked them to tell us what Meeting Point has meant to them.

Maryam came from Iran five years ago and is now a volunteer. She said Meeting Point was like her family. “I’m so happy with the energy here,” she said.

Lilian, from Nigeria, said she loved the way women from different countries and backgrounds came together. “You can mix and learn a different language from the one you originally spoke. There’s various activities you can participate in, such as sewing, knitting and singing. The staff and volunteers are friendly and amazing.”

Their thoughts were echoed by Monisola from Afghanistan, who added that Meeting Point provided many activities for women and children, as well as helping with food parcels and other necessities.

If you or a group you are part of are interested in our community reporter training programme, comment below, or contact us via e-mail or on our Facebook page. It’s free and runs for eight weekly sessions, usually evenings.

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