Wakefield district is the 18th largest local authority in England and Wales with a population estimated to be in the region of 332,000 and expected to increase to 338,000 in 2018. The Wakefield age profile reflects the absence of any sizeable university presence within Wakefield with smaller than average proportions of young people aged 20-24 compared to, for example Leeds (6.0% vs. 9.8%) and greater numbers of old women than men. Implications of an ageing population include an increased demand for health and well-being services, a reduction in working age people, a reduced contribution to the economy and lower incomes, and increased resources for care services (paid and unpaid carers).
Urban House is an 'initial accommodation centre', located in Wakefield, which is run by G4S, a security outsourcing company. New arrivals to the country seeking asylum or refugee status are relocated to Wakefield and housed temporarily before they are dispersed around the country. Urban House receives approximately 200-300 people per fortnight from a range of countries with a maximum of 310 people resident at any one time. This includes single people and families with the average daily total of residents between 270 and 280 people. On average, residents stay between 21 and 28 days and are then dispersed throughout the country. However, there are a considerable number of people who stay beyond this period, often for up to 3 months, whilst the Home Office processes their applications. Residents represent a range of nationalities from all over the world.
Yorkshire MESMAC's Welcome Hear Project aimed to:
The target audience were new migrants to the UK seeking refuge and asylum and temporarily resident in Urban House, in Wakefield. Within this location population migrants from African countries with high prevalence of HIV were particularly targeted.