THIS letter comes from all the refugee support groups in the Craven area – Bentham, Malhamdale, Settle, Skipton, Upper Wharfedale – to mark the beginning of National Refugee Week (June 13 to June 23).

We carry out different activities, but we are united in believing that refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and oppression deserve our sympathy and understanding; that the UK can and should play its part in welcoming a fair proportion of these displaced people; and that refugees, far from being a burden to our economy, can make a valuable and inspiring contribution to local economies and to the life of local communities.

Refugee Week in Craven runs from Saturday June 15 to Saturday June 22 , and there are a variety of events and displays in each of our communities in Craven. Do please come along to support us or to find out more about our activities and our values.

You may not agree with us, or you may simply be confused - views are strongly polarised on these difficult issues and there is much misinformation. So do please take the opportunity to talk to us and to share your views and your concerns. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we do want to listen and to enter into respectful dialogue even with those who disagree with us.

Maggie Bruno (Bentham)

Judy Rogers (Malhamdale)

Angie Pedley (Settle)

Charles Dobson (Skipton)

Stella Perrott (Upper Wharfedale).