University-partnered refugee project recognised by Platinum Jubilee award

Staff from Bright Path Futures accept award from Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur (Credit: RedPix)

An organisation set up to help Afghan refugees arriving in Leicester has received a Platinum Jubilee Award.

Bright Path Futures was set up in August 2021 in partnership with the University of Leicester and the British Red Cross.

The project aims to assist refugees with cultural integration by helping them build language and literary skills to engage with communities in the UK.

Bright Path Futures has developed a range of innovative resources to help people to learn how to speak and write in English to take care of their well-being and build new friendships with others.

These resources are now being used in Afghan Bridging Hotel communities across the UK, and the team are working on similar resources to assist refugees arriving from Ukraine and elsewhere.

Bright Path Futures was selected as part of the ‘sensational 70’ organisations across Leicester and Leicestershire to receive the Queen’s Jubilee Platinum accolade.

Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur presented the award to Bright Path Futures at a ceremony which took place on Wednesday 12th October in the Council Rooms.

Moneer Noori, Director of Bright Path Futures said: “This award means a lot to me, especially for a refugee who has been in the country for more than one year. When first we got here I thought we lost everything, our home, our family, and our careers. We were so hopeless. 

“I feel like I got everything back. All that feeling comes from the University of Leicester. The University of Leicester made that difference. Thank you so much University of Leicester for all your support. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to achieve this amazing job.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Nishan Canagarajah made a speech at the event. He said: “I want to add how important this project is to the University from the point of view it is inclusive and empowering. 

“When I arrived in Leicester three years ago, I made it my mission to ensure this university becomes a beacon of excellence for equality and diversity. A University for Inclusion. 

“Projects such as this, which are empowering and enabling, are absolutely vital and I am particularly pleased that it is community led and the beneficiaries include those who were previously disenfranchised.

“Women are being empowered by Bright Paths Future and it is fantastic that this local initiative has now grown into a national project supporting not only other Afghan groups around the country but now starting to support other groups of people including recently arrived Ukrainians.

“It shows you the power partnerships. Of like-minded people and organisations coming together for the good of society. In this case, the University is working with the Red Cross, the Home Office, the NHS and others to deliver real change.”

Philip Horspool, Centre for International Training and Education at the University of Leicester said:

“It is fantastic to see this project recognised with this award.  We are proud to be associated with it and help to celebrate the fantastic work of all those involved”.