A WELCOME Charter is being prepared for Otley.

Community group Otley Welcomes was formed in response to a rise in racism, xenophobia and hate crime following the EU membership referendum of 2016.

Since then the group has held a number of events - including ‘hands up’ rallies, community lunches and picnics, refugee walks and film and theatre presentations - to promote the message that everyone is welcome in the town.

The group is now working on a Welcome Charter which they hope local residents will be glad to sign up to.

Other planned future activities include a sponsored book sharing scheme in which a publication, All Are Welcome Here by Alexandra Penfold, will be placed in community sites around Otley.

The Otley Welcomes steering group, which is non-party political, meets once a month, and is open to all. For more details visit https://en-gb.facebook.com/OtleyWelcomes/ .