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 info@millsidecentre.org.

The Millside Centre launched a Job Club on the 9th of April 2018, opening its doors to people around the Bradford district area who are looking for work. Unemployment rate has risen in the city and more people are suffering financially which is having an impact on the well-being of people and their families.

After hours of research and outreach, which involved speaking to local people within the community, it became evidently clear there was a need for a Job Club in the BD1 and surrounding areas.

Focusing on what people have stated as a need we have created a friendly safe space for people to come access computers, meet a friendly team who offer clients 1-2-1 support, help with CV and application forms, job hunting, basic computer training.

Our Jobclub offers support to the unemployed and helps people get back into work which can be overwhelming, it also helps with overcoming barriers, isolation, fear, change, meeting new people going through similar experiences, setting achievable goals and having successful outcomes.

We provide all our clients with a short booklet with helpful hints and tips with positive affirmations and vision boards and goal setting, helping to keep a positive approach to job hunting, keeping notes on the progress they have made and especially building up their confidence. Along side this, we also offer help with universal jobmatch, basic computer training, 1-2-1 support and help with CV’s and application.

The Job Club runs every Monday between 1pm until 3pm, a free service open to all. We provide free WIFI access, ongoing support from various agencies such as Aspire Igen and Incommunites  who offer employability skills, mentoring support, STEP programme (Skills Training Employment Pathway), team building sessions helping people to secure permanent employment.

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)

We are excited to be launching an NVQ Level 2 Diploma Beauty Therapy Course (fully accredited) with the award winning Salma’s Beauty Academy. Come along to our OPEN DAY to meet the tutor, get free treatment, free refreshments and find out how you can register on this FREE course. This course is particularly aimed at people who are unemployed, receiving benefits and interested in exploring a career in the beauty industry. If your goal this year is to find a new and exciting pathway to employment doing something you love, then this course is for you.

How long is the course? 

32 weeks. Attended 1 day a week

What does the course include?

The course is delivered with a mix of practical and theory work. The following units are covered:

  • Provide Eye Treatments
  • Provide Waxing Treatments
  • Provide Facial Treatments
  • Provide Manicure Treatments
  • Provide Pedicure Treatments

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed by practical observations, written exams and assignments.

When does the course start?

Thursday 1st March 2018, 9:30am – 3pm

We hope to see you soon at the open day!

 

Millside Centre Team

 

Displace Yourself Theatre, a Bradford based arts organisation would like to invite you to a fun and informative event, exploring the transformative way that the arts can support people experiencing social exclusion.

Since January 2017, Displace Yourself have been running Creating Together in partnership with Theatre in the Mill, University of Bradford. These are monthly sessions which provide opportunities for people who might not ordinarily access the arts to develop new skills and try out a range of creative activities. Creating Together is open to everyone, but are particularly relevant to:

  • People who have experienced, or are at risk of, homelessness
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • People with mental health support needs

We would love you to join us on Wednesday 7th February:

  • For a conversation about how the arts can play a part in supporting mental health, self-confidence and communication skills
  • To learn more about the Creating Together project and how your organisation could be involved
  • Explore barriers to participation and how we might address them
  • Make connections and develop contacts with other local organisations

We would welcome individuals from organisations, as well as inviting them to bring a volunteer or service user who may be interested in learning more.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please register on the Eventbrite link to confirm your attendance.

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

Trip to Settle

Last month our ladies Knitting group had a lovely day out to Settle, a beautiful location in the Yorkshire Dales. We had been invited by Judy Rogers to join a group of ladies in a project to “knit the Yorkshire 3 peaks”. This sounded like quite a challenge, although I thought easier than climbing them! We left Bradford on a cold. wet, windy morning which was not ideal weather for the Dales. The route did not seem familiar and we later discovered that our minibus driver had simply followed his sat-nav. I think his settings were on “take all the back roads” as we passed through small villages with narrow streets barely wide enough for our minibus.This was actually quite good as some of our ladies had not visited the Dales before, so they could enjoy the scenic route in dramatic weather.

We received a very warm welcome at The Folly, a beautiful 17th Century House which houses The Museum of North Craven Life. We had a tour of the museum and focused in particular on the excellent knitted projects. Ladies from the Settle group had knitted pictures of the local buildings which were to inspire us with the task set before us.

After being given our instructions we set about creating our individual pieces of knit-work. These were then placed on the prepainted canvases which were templates of the 3 Peaks. The ladies all actively participated in the project and integrated well with the Settle group.

  

There was lots of fun and laughter as we worked, with the ladies sharing stories and getting to know one another. We even had a visit from a lady dressed as a rabbit who had us spin her “wheel of fortune”. We all received a certificate in recognition of our participation, with a few receiving special awards for particular achievements.

After a very enjoyable day we headed back to Bradford (this time on a faster more direct route)! The Settle group had made us feel so welcome and the day was well planned with some lovely touches such as the certificates. We plan to gather again in January to complete the projects, hopefully inviting the Settle ladies to the Millside Centre.

Written by Teresa Jack – knitting group volunteer.

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.

https://streetsupport.net/bradford/

The Millside Centre is excited to be launching a new Talk English course in collaboration with the Meridian Centre starting from September. The Talk English project was set up to provide free English classes for people with low levels of English to not only improve their language skills but to also get better access to services and subsequently become more involved in the community. Lack of spoken English can be a real barrier for a lot of people to engage in society and can leave them feeling isolated and unable to contribute. Talk English provides a space for people to improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills and also allows them to meet new people, foster friendships as well as begin to break the barriers that was once built through conversation. The course is taught by volunteers and is open to anyone in Pre-entry – Entry 1, however the only criteria is that it’s for those who’ve been living in the UK for 12 months. In Bradford, the project is lead by Shipley College alongside a number community organisations as key partners. According to the Talk English Bradford website, “In the 2011 Census, 4.8% of the population said that they could not speak English well or at at all”, which highlight the huge need in our city to provide free access to classes to enable people to learn.  

Do you know anyone who may benefit from Talk English class at Millside? Please refer them to us on: 01274 409 661 or email: info@millsidecentre.org

  • Registration date: Monday 4th September
  • Course start date: Monday 11th September
  • Crèche available