At our vibrant community centre in Halifax, we welcome and support refugees and people seeking asylum.
Working across Calderdale, we give people the practical support they need to rebuild their lives with dignity, and we offer a range of activities that help them feel happier and more connected.
Together we are building a diverse community which challenges injustice and puts the needs and voices of our centre members at the heart of our work.
What we offer
We are a specialist charity working with people seeking asylum, and new refugees, who are rebuilding their lives in Calderdale.
We help with advice on immigration and asylum, and offer one-to-one support with welfare, housing, health, and access to wider services.
Renowned for our holistic and person-centred approach, we provide a welcoming, safe and inclusive space.
We offer English language classes, training, creative, social, sports and wellbeing activities, trips and volunteering opportunities. We also run a befriending and integration service.
Our centre has a free shop, salon, chill out room and garden, and we also refurbish bikes and second-hand tech. On Mondays and Thursdays, we provide a cooked lunch at our Welcome Cafe, which is free and open to everyone. Come and join us sometime!
How we work
We are a community of 18 staff, 150 volunteers, and over a thousand centre members from 76 countries. Our centre members are people who are seeking sanctuary in Calderdale.
People with lived experience of seeking asylum are represented in our staff, trustee and volunteer team, and their insights and experiences, together with those of our centre members, shape what we do.
Many of our centre members offer their skills and time, including repurposing second-hand tech so it can be passed on to those who need it, giving bikes a new lease of life so they can be used by members, running our free shop, cooking hot meals and much more.
We know from our work that we need a fairer and more compassionate asylum system, one that shows greater empathy for those fleeing war and persecution.
We offer talks and presentations to groups in Calderdale, to raise awareness of the issues facing refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK and how our local community can support and welcome them.
In 1968, Denise Keenan from St Augustine’s Church, here in Park Ward, set up a pre-school play group. She and a small team of volunteers extended this to include community lunches, English classes and social activities in response to local need.
In the early 2000s, people seeking asylum were housed in Calderdale, and we started to support them to settle into their new lives.
In 2009, St Augustine’s Centre became an independent charity, continually evolving and welcoming all those seeking sanctuary regardless of faith, ethnicity or background.