history of the project
From around 2008, Keighley began to get a new wave of migrants. Dorota was working at St Anne's Catholic Primary School as a support assistant and was becoming more involved in helping new communities. Families were asking for help to translate documents, interpret at meetings and signpost to relevant agencies.
In 2014, together with a colleague, Dorota formulated a plan to create a centre for these families, where they could feel safe, seek support and make new friends with a holistic approach. The school supported this and with a help of volunteers, they were providing one to one support, form filling, signposting to agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, interpreting at meetings, comprehensive support for families with difficulties, coffee mornings, parent & toddler groups, after school clubs, trips and events.
What happened next?
The Good Shepherd Centre was a success! More and more families were using the services on offer and requesting more. To make the project sustainable and future proof we needed to secure funding, to do this we moved away from the school and set up as an independent charity in 2016 (Registered Charity Number 1170396). Since then it has gone from strength to strength and now supports local disadvantaged people in the Keighley community and surrounded areas, migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and local families in need, developing strong relationships with local people of all ages regardless of their religion, gender or ability.
As the Centre was expanding its services, we needed a bigger location. In 2018 with help of local communities, friends and volunteers, we have moved to The Guard House, West Lane in Keighley.
The Good Shepherd Centre aims to empower, engage and educate economically and socially disadvantaged people in our town and surrounding areas in order that they may be better able to participate fully in society.
Seeking Courage, Fighting Hate and Finding Belonging. We aim to achieve this every day.
We help families:
- find the courage to embrace their new lives in the United Kingdom
- fight, report & challenge hate when it occurs through support and providing sanctuary.
- find belonging through welcome packages, groups and events.
Advice, advocacy and support are offered in the areas of health, education, and social justice.
Who do we support?
In particular, our Charity supports:
- Local families and individuals from Keighley and surrounding area
- Immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, many of whom are from the Roma community.
- Immigrants from other parts of the world, including but not limited to Africa, India and the Middle East also make use of the centre.
- Refugees & homeless people.
- Vulnerable families in the area.