Friendship walk planned in Batley

COMMUNITY and faith groups from across Batley have organised a unique event to celebrate diversity and unity in the town.

The Walk With Us Friendship Walk will take place on Saturday October 15.

Local people, children and families will meet up at 2pm and set off from the Market Place in the town centre, walking at a leisurely pace to Batley Bulldogs’ Mount Pleasant ground.

Planning the walk brought together local organisations including Kirklees Council, the Bulldogs, Indian Muslim Welfare Society, Pakistani Kashmiri Welfare Association, local churches and mosques.

Rev Mark Umpleby, of the United Benefice of Batley, said: “The Walk With Us project began many months ago when I suggested to a few faith leaders that we do lots of visits and events where people from different faiths meet together – but these are not seen by many people apart from those who attend.

“Walk With Us is intended to show the existing friendships – which are growing – between people from different faiths out on the streets of Batley.

“It will be an opportunity for people of different faiths and no faith to come together and enjoy a walk together, find out more about one another and sample the refreshments and activities at Batley Bulldogs’ stadium.”

Mohamed Mulla, chairman of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society, said: “Following on from the horrific murder of Jo Cox we decided that we, as an established community organisation, need to do much more to cement the community cohesion as the Indian Muslim Welfare Society has been at the forefront of these kind of activities.

“Hopefully the friendship walk will send out a strong message of a united community in Batley and Spen. We hope to organise many more similar events in partnership with local people and organisations in future.”

People are asked to meet at 2pm for a 2.30pm start and the walk concludes with refreshments and activities at Mount Pleasant.

Anyone who might find the trek difficult is free to meet up at both or either locations to show their support.

Follow the event via Twitter at @BatleyWalkTalk.

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