Ravensthorpe Community Centre (RCC) was set up in 2000 by Mr Abdul Aslam, as an independent charity to run a community facility. Since then it has gone from strength to strength by expanding the space available for activities and delivering its own services.

Our services are divided into 4 segments, childcare and parents, adults, health and wellbeing, and general community projects which promote cohesion and civic action.

We deliver a culturally appropriate service mainly but not solely for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people and those with learning disabilities. Our service takes into account these cultural needs such as dietary requirements, language issues and understanding of learning disabilities in the local community.

We operate a self-sustaining community café which offers affordable healthy cooked meals and awareness around healthy lifestyles to combat high rates of obesity and coronary heart illnesses.

Community Champions

Ravensthorpe Community Centre has secured funding to become Community Champions. We want to increase outreach, engagement and communication with residents who are more at risk of COVID-19. Working with trusted local voices we want to build confidence in community testing, the free vaccination programme and help our communities better understand and address vaccine hesitancy with a collaborative and community-based approach.

We have employed 9 Community Champions, to work within the Dewsbury, Ravensthorpe, Saville Town and West Town areas. Our volunteers are from a diverse cultural background, namely Kurdish, Pakistani, Romanian, Hungarian and Afghani, thus ensuring the information about the importance of Covid vaccinations can be interpreted into different languages. The aims of the Community Champions are to:

  • Talk to people within the community, about the Covid vaccine and address hesitancy and misinformation.
  • The Community Champions will share relevant information with target groups through appropriate communication channels such as leaflets, posters, social media and in person.
  • The Champions will try new approaches and make recommendations to encourage uptake of the Covid vaccine and community testing.
Dr Muhammad Javed Khan GP and partner at Mount Pleasant Medical Centre, Batley and Earlsheaton Medical Centre Dewsbury

Dr Muhammad Javed Khan who is a GP and partner at Mount Pleasant Medical Centre, Batley and Earlsheaton Medical Centre Dewsbury states that:

“These are challenging and unprecedented times and we have been overwhelmed by the response from our patients in booking vaccinations promptly.  The vaccine is important in saving lives and I strongly urge those in need to consider the free vaccination.  It is the only way our society can get back to normal.”  

There has been a lot of information in regards to the vaccines as to whether they are permissible from a religious context. These issues have been addressed by the Imam of the Leeds Grand Mosque, and other religious scholars, who have confirmed that the Covid vaccine is permissible and beneficial to aid recovery and as protection from infection. Other concerns have included, the side effects of the vaccine, concerns around infertility, and the overall safety of the vaccine. Our Community Champions are on hand to listen to concerns and provide helpful guidance and information to those who need it.

Abdul Aslam, Chief Executive of Ravensthorpe Community Centre, said;

“I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to take on this vitally important piece of work which aims to increase vaccine take up and ultimately protect our communities. Our Champions are working extremely hard to make sure that everyone has the correct information about COVID-19 and the vaccine programme.

“With over 200,000 people having taken the vaccine in Kirklees it really shows just how well it is being received. I hope our work will help increase that number over the coming weeks and months.

“If you need further information about the vaccination programme or if you think you can help us spread the message then please do get in touch.”

To contact Ravensthorpe Community Centre about the work of the Community Champions please contact info@rccl.org / 01924 510030.