People passing through Huddersfield railway station yesterday (Saturday) were given food for thought on the subject of refugees.
Groups working with refugees handed out different foods from across the globe in a celebration of unity inspired by the late MP for Batley and Spen Jo Cox.
The Great Get Together, a national celebration of the Jo’s life, saw volunteers handing out free food to passersby and station users.
Some of the food contained messages on cocktail sticks, including: “Omid Djalili - the actor and comedian is a refugee from Iran.”
Another said: “Sir Montague Burton, a refugee from Lithuania founded Burton Retail.”
Supporters of Sanctuary Kirklees, Volunteers Together and DASH (Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield) gathered at the station from 10.30am to 1.30pm.
Brendan Cox, Jo’s widower, said: “I am delighted that Refugee Week is partnering with The Great Get Together to make the weekend of 17 and 18 June a celebration of all we have in common in this country.
“The cause of refugees was close to Jo’s heart and the fact we will be marking the first anniversary of her death just as Refugee Week 2017 begins brings added poignancy to events.”
Sanctuary Kirklees member Maggie Speight said: “Refugee Week is a week when we highlight the contribution made to our community by people who come here seeking sanctuary.
“We are remembering Jo Cox and celebrating Refugee Week at Huddersfield train station because train stations are places where people are constantly arriving and departing.
“The history of all communities is people arriving and departing.
“Our communities keep evolving - that brings challenges as well as opportunities.
“We believe it’s important to embrace our differences and talk to each other. When we talk to each other we find out, as Jo Cox said, that we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”
The food which was handed out was made by volunteers and supporters including restaurants in Huddersfield.
Jane Wood, of Sanctuary Kirklees, people arriving at the station had been happy to chat about the subject.
“We have had a really good reception and it has been really busy.
“One teenage girl said ‘wow’ and that she had had no idea that one of the men (Michael Marks) who founded Marks & Spencer was a Jewish refugee.”
Local stores which donated food for the stall included Marks & Spencer.
Those who manned the stall included Murtaza Amozgar from Afghanistan and a husband and wife from Syria.