Walker Street – home for the elderly

This is what Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing engagement officer had to say before visit

“Yes, it will be okay to bring the snacks to introduction meeting and I feel that what you have offered and the way the group are going to engage with the residents is a good technique and will possibly work”.

After visit

“I was speaking to Holly yesterday and she gave me a up-date of what you and the group have been doing to build bridges and reading what you have outlined bellow, states that we are moving forward with this and we have overcome some large barriers that were standing in our way. However, I  understand we still have a long way to go and yes, I think that a visit to the Mosque and offering the understanding of Halal and Haram will be very beneficial; as I was told that some of the residents are under the impression that all Halal meat is spicy…from that I feel a talk surrounding this will help our course”

Holly manager at Walker St said.
One resident in particular (Tony) has told me this morning he would like me to type up a letter for him telling you all how delightful he thinks you all are and enthusiastic. He really enjoyed sharing his stories and has been in a happy singing mood all day and this is mostly down to you guys, taking the time to sit and listen to his stories and showing an interest. – He has some very exciting stories!!

Another resident who also spoke to the guys also has told me how lovely and friendly and well spoken they are and are impressed by all their aspirations to succeed and to hear what they want to become. These boys are aiming for the stars and we all at Walker Street believe they will get everything they wish for due to their bright, caring kind nature and ability to relate to people of all ages and capacities.

I would also like to let you know how grateful I am to the young man who took a little bit of flack off a resident. He handled himself beautifully. Unfortunately this particular resident cannot be re-educated due to his mental health. He cannot retain any information past a certain stage of his life and so even when I pull him aside and tell him that he cannot behave like that it is inappropriate and out dated – he is very sorry at the time and feels awful however the next day he can’t remember the event let alone the conversation. I understand this is a poor excuse and age is never an excuse for any racial discrimination. But I would like to say this situation was handled very well by the young man, who remained patient and let it go straight over his head. I hope he did not take any offence from this situation.

On the whole the buzz this morning here at Walker Street was that it was a very good event and they were all very pleased to see you and your youth group. They are a group of young, friendly, polite young men who are guaranteed success due to their helpful and devoted nature and they are a credit!

Holly Blackwood
Scheme Coordinator

Camran Ishaq KFTRA Fieldworker said Kirklees Federation of Tenants and Residents

The group were very well spoken, very open and honest and very approachable. Farooks attempts to break down the barriers right at the beginning when the TRA committee members sat in the lounge,
significantly paid off.The group appreciated the open invitation to ask questions and not be afraid to raise their concerns about anything that may be seen as slightly controversial. I feel this in its self put the residents at ease and invited them to get involved more without being conscious of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Credit to Jay, Holly and Farook for discussing the possibility of these two groups (from very different backgrounds including age, culture, religion etc) working together in whatever capacity is agreed by both.I think the fact that this proposal was taken to a TRA meeting prior to the group visit laid the foundations for future work, rather than inviting the kids from Savile Town unannounced.

I think there is huge potential in the groups developing and maintaining a successful relationship in the future. However it is important to take one step at a time.