Every year in June Millside takes part in Refugee Week, a UK-wide programme of events and activities to celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and foster better understand of why people seek sanctuary. People are encouraged to organise or attend these events and activities in order to learn something new and be better educated on the struggles refugees face. Bradford is known for being a city of sanctuary, and every year a loose collective of individuals and organisations dedicated in helping destitute asylum seekers and refugees become a part of a planning group who organise a number of free events which takes place across the city. Millside was a part of this team and we organised a film screening of ‘Home is Home: the dream and nightmare’ – a short documentary following the journey of a young Congolese-British activist who travels back to her home country, Democratic Republic of Congo for the first time in 15 years. We had a great turn out with a Q&A panel discussion, highlighting the political struggles in DRC and why people are leaving as well as an opportunity for people to take action with Bradford Congo Campaign – a local based campaigning group raising awareness about human rights issues in Congo.
Our Knitting group also had a chance of exhibiting their ‘Knit the Three Peaks’ final canvas artworks in the ‘My Dream?’ refugee week art exhibition which was open to all at the Capital of Cycling in the city centre of Bradford. Millside also had an information Stall at the finale event at City Park to celebrate the end of Refugee Week, where we had an opportunity to promote our services the general public.
We look forward to getting involved with refugee week again next year.
A fully inclusive, multicultural singing group begins on Wednesday 18th April for 14 weeks.
“Millside Voices” will take place at The Millside Centre on Grattan Road between the hours of 1:30pm and 3:00pm. All are welcome to the sessions, they are free and aim to instil mental, emotional and physical wellbeing through group singing. The project is funded by Enable2 CIC, a social enterprise based in Bradford. They provide interpreters and document translations for the public, private and third sector.
The Millside Centre serves to help improve the lives of people within local communities. They aim to create a trusting, safe and peaceful environment for service users and visitors.
The singing sessions will consist of vocal warm ups and uplifting, fun songs. Participants will also have the chance to create a song book. There will be songs from the past and present as well as songs from different countries and musicals. Participants will not need to have music reading capabilities or experience as singing will be done by ear. The sessions will be led by music practitioner, Fran Wyburn who specialises in using music and voice to promote wellbeing. She said “Our hope for Millside Voices is that it will be a place for people from all walks of life to sing for joy. I’ve witnessed first-hand the significant benefits singing can have in boosting self-confidence, releasing stress and anxiety, improving breathing patterns and regulating the heart. After singing together, we hope people will leave feeling uplifted, with a smile on their faces.”
Helen Hoyle, the Social Return Manager at Enable2 CIC said
“…We understand the health and wellbeing benefits of singing so we are pleased to be able to support this new community initiative at The Millside Centre. We look forward to hearing the songs from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds”.
If you are interested in getting involved, please call The Millside Centre on 01274 409661 or alternatively send an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early 2017, I started attending a peer support group for men called Andy’s Man Club (AMC). The mission statement of this organisation is to address and tackle the distressingly high number of male suicides by encouraging men to come together and open up about their problems and talk with other, like-minded men. My involvement with AMC has developed over this past year to the point where I have facilitated at the Wakefield club before moving on to the newer Bradford club – which is local to me.
Facilitating these clubs requires me to exercise and promote confidentiality within the group; we use the Chatham House Rules, as well as ensuring and maintaining a non-judgemental atmosphere and attitude. The club is careful to stress that it does not attempt to diagnose, prescribe or imply any professional opinion on any of the service users. Our purpose is to listen and support all who attend in a positive and constructive way by both acknowledging and accepting the difficulties of the men as well as encouraging them to identify and keep sight of the positive elements of their lives, no matter how trivial they may seem. We often have men attend who are in crisis and we ensure that they are listened to with respect and with dignity; in such situations as much time as is needed is given to ensure they feel supported.
During my involvement with AMC, I have seen first-hand the incredible difference the club makes to peoples’ lives, not only those men who attend, but also for their families and friends who have seen dramatic differences in the outlook of those they are close to who have been dealing with mental health difficulties and the like. Indeed, coupled to our dedicated, social media members’ groups, I have seen incredible, positive changes to many of our club attendees; sometimes over a period of only a few weeks!
The work Andy’s Man Club has been so positive and the movement continues to grow further across the country with new clubs recently being opened in Leeds and Dundee! However, our work has only just begun and we look forward to further raising awareness and breaking the stigma of men’s mental health with our message of #ITSOKAYTOTALK.
Written by Alex Ripper: Co-Facilitator of Andy’s Man Club Bradford, meeting at the Millside Centre every Monday 7pm (Except bank holidays)
With a new year comes new beginnings and new possibilities. We are excited to be working with Andy’s Man Club to launch a new support group for men which focuses on creating a safe space where men can come together, have a cup of tea and talk about various issues affecting them. The group will be meeting every Monday at 7pm (except bank holidays) and their main aim which runs in a form of a campaign #ITSOKAYTOTALK tries to highlight the difficulty men face to open up about their mental health. The first meeting was held Monday 8th January and will be continuing each week, so if you are aware of anyone who would benefit from attending a non-judgemental space with friendly faces and a listening ear, then please inform them about this amazing group. No referrals needed, just turn up but you must be 18 years plus to attend.
To find out more about the groups, read the latest article published in the local paper about Andy’s Man Club here
Millside Centre Team
We hosted the #bradfordcares forum meeting on 21st September, which brought together a coalition of organisations and individuals working to reduce rough sleeping and begging in Bradford. The new campaign which is due to launch this month aims to improve cooperation among local agencies who are dedicated to supporting this client group but most importantly aims to raise public awareness about the issues surrounding begging in the inner city and surrounding areas of Bradford by empowering people to consider giving in positive ways through the new street support/bradford website.
The “kinder ways to give” campaign will consist of a few planned days of action where different organisations will be encouraged to get involved, working with outreach workers to engage the public and raise awareness.
To find out more the campaign and ways you can get involved, please find the street support website below.
On Thursday 13th July, the Millside Centre hosted (CRC) Conflict Resolutions Centre’s 10th year anniversary with lots of speakers and great testimonials of the positive impact the organisation has made in the city of Bradford. Since its inception in the DR Congo, this community-led initiative was set up in response to the tension felt by different communities in the UK and tries to promote peace and harmony in our multi-cultural society which in turn breaks down barriers and facilitates peace and understanding . The organisation serves the needs of all communities by running adequate and appropriate peace and conflict-resolution training to community groups, organisations and businesses and provides tools, knowlege and practical means of knowing what to do when conflicts arise.
CRC is now working on a Diaspora Integration Awareness (DIA) project that will endeavour to help refugee and host communities find better ways of engaging and tackling some of the problems and fear each side face. To find out more about CRC Bradford, click on the link below:
THERE’S a buzz of excitement around the Goitside area of Bradford as a new community centre for use by vulnerable people in the district nears completion.
Just over 15 months ago a Big Lottery Fund grant of almost £750,000 was awarded to Christian charity Reach Beyond, whose patron is the Right Reverend Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford.