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‘College of Sanctuary’ Award Presented to Bradford College

Bradford College staff and special guests attended the formal presentation of the FE College of Sanctuary award. This is the first time a college in West Yorkshire has received this accolade from City of Sanctuary UK.

This sought-after title recognises the exceptional level of assistance the College provides to some of the most vulnerable learners seeking sanctuary in the city. Supporting just one Refugee/Asylum Seeker in 2010, Bradford College has now helped nearly 2,000 and is one of the largest support providers in the UK.

The region receives around 13% of the UK’s Asylum Seekers, and migration data shows Bradford to be one of four locations to receive the highest proportion of these individuals (although this still represents just 0.46% of the district’s population).

Support at Bradford College includes ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes, help for those who have experienced trauma or who have complex needs, coaching to overcome specific barriers to learning, as well as helping individuals to develop the skills and confidence to apply for jobs, take part in interviews, and succeed in the workplace. 

Guests were welcomed to the Grove training restaurant and café bar at Bradford College by CEO Chris Webb, after which speeches and the formal award presentation took place. Representatives from Bradford and Kirklees Council and local service-provider partners were treated to afternoon tea created and served by Bradford College catering and hospitality students.

Will Sutcliffe, Chair of Bradford City of Sanctuary, said:

“Bradford College has gone out of its way to make people welcome, and this award’s thorough and comprehensive evaluation shows a real commitment to opening up meaningful opportunities in the city. We were so impressed with the College’s appraisal. Bradford College fulfilled all of the City of Sanctuary criteria and their recognition is well deserved.”

Duncan Burnett, Curriculum Area Manager for Community and Distance Learning at Bradford College, said:

“We work at the heart of the community – supporting people into work, removing barriers to learning, and helping with language support. The City of Sanctuary award highlights the amazing achievements attained when working together with great local service providers and partners  like DWP, Skills House, Bradford Council and Jobcentre Plus.”

The Ukrainian project is one of the latest examples of support offered to sanctuary-seeking individuals. The project runs in partnership with Bradford Council and the Ukrainian Club on Legrams Lane in Bradford. The already well-established Ukrainian community in Bradford helped identify the individual needs of newly arrived refugees. 

Individuals benefit from language classes and training in specialisms like hospitality using the College’s Jo Cox Sanctuary Café for work experience, gaining industry qualifications, and practicing social skills.To date, five cohorts of students have completed training with 24 positive job outcomes achieved.

Published: 7th October 2022

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