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Plans revealed to bring Keighley community closer together
A Keighley community group has revealed plans to support people from Eastern Europe who are living in the town.
Keighley Community Organisation (KCO) hopes to provide services and activities for families from countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.
It wants to help people of all ages, from children to pensioners, find the help they need and integrate into the communities.
KCO said there was a long tradition of Keighley supporting people from other countries who had made a home in the town.
The group is run mostly by members of Keighley’s Asian community whose own families arrived in the town during the 1960s from Pakistan.
The support for eastern Europeans will be part of a 2013 programme of activities currently being planned by KCO.
The organisation, led by Keighley man Tufail Khan, wants to make full use of its base in the former Keighley Voluntary Services building at 135 Skipton Road.
Since moving into the three-storey building last year, KCO has held religious meetings and a children’s party for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
It has knocked through two former offices to create a function room that can cater for at least 60 people.
Mr Khan said that KCO was currently seeking funding from various sources for its proposed activities, which would begin in January next year.
Mr Khan said eastern Europeans were the latest migrants arriving in Keighley, and it was important to help them become part of local life.
Ideas include social activities for eastern European elders, activities to get teenagers off the streets, education sessions for youngsters, and signposting families to advice agencies.
Mr Khan said: “There are not many organisations that help them. We see them as in the same shoes we were in when we came here in the 1960s.
“Young English, Asian and eastern Europeans are together in school time, but afterwards, they are in different groups. We want to bring them together in social events.”
KCO will also use the Skipton Road building as a base for radio and internet broadcasts, expanding on its annual Radio Ramadan broadcasts to reach the whole community.
Keighley Community Organisation started in 2006, and has since organised a wide range of activities including cultural gatherings, health projects and charity fundraising.
KCO is looking for volunteers from all communities in the town, and can be contacted on 07870 644810.