FURTHER to your report of the possible re-opening of Angel Lodge, I am writing to ask your readers to consider what welcome we might give to any asylum seeker who might find themselves there and passing through Wakefield.
We have all cheered “our” Olympian Mo Farah and been delighted with his success. Those of us who have had involvement with asylum seekers were interested to note that he came to this country as an asylum seeker and he has make great mention of the teacher who spotted his potential and encouraged him.
The folk who will be living on a very temporary basis at Angel Lodge if/when it re-opens will be feeling extremely anxious and unsettled. The sight of a prison so close by will be unwelcome to those people who come from countries where the forces which are meant to give protection to the citizen do instead offer oppression.
We already have some extremely talented young people in Wakefield who arrived as asylum seekers.
I hope the people of Wakefield will consider what we can do to give a welcome to these temporary residents. Any gesture of welcome, however small, will be good for the folk who will be living with us and if we encourage a potential Mo Farah the future will be brighter for all of us.
I also hope that living conditions at Angel Lodge will if/when it re-opens be of a standard which the people of Wakefield will be proud and that any failure to provide an acceptable standard will be deal with quickly by whoever is the appropriate body.