The city of Wakefield stands adjacent to the River Calder and on the eastern edge of Pennines. Once a wealthy market town, selling more grain than any other market town in the north, it soon became a hub of enterprise and engineering during the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
By 1869, 46 coal mines were being operated in Wakefield and the surrounding area. However, Wakefield was hit hard by the pit closures of the 1980s and the decline in heavy industry and manufacturing. You can find out all about Wakefield’s mining history by taking an authentic miner’s journey, 140m underground at the National Coal Mining Museum for England.
A wealth of information about this fascinating and characterful city and its surrounding area from the 12th century to the present day can be found at the West Yorkshire History Centre, part of the West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS). This has one of the largest collections of records in the country covering the old West Riding of Yorkshire, the current county of West Yorkshire and the Wakefield district.
The Centre is free to visit, and has an exhibition space displaying items from its collections, a learning zone for schools and events and a search-room where you can trace your ancestry on public computers free of charge.
Today, the city enjoys a diverse economic base thanks to inward investment from the European and UK governments. Recent regeneration projects have seen the development of new retail, residential and commercial units. It’s a great place to go shopping or to visit restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Wakefield also has an incredible cultural heritage, being the birthplace of two of the most famous sculptors of modern times, Dame Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. The Hepworth Wakefield is a stunning waterside art gallery, while close by to the city is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This is a leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. It is an independent charitable trust and registered museum situated in the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire.
Finally, for families that want to have fun with some energetic activities, you can experience the thrill of windsurfing across the lake at Pugneys Country Park, leap for joy at Gravity Trampoline Park or ski down a real snow slope at Snozone.
If you live in Wakefield or the surrounding area and are looking to make a real and positive difference in a young person’s life by becoming a foster carer, or are already fostering in Wakefield, we would be very pleased to hear from you. If you are having any doubts about why you should foster, or why we would be the right agency for you, then again, we would be very pleased to address any concerns you may have.
Becoming a foster parent is a life changing decision, and can enhance a family dynamic as well as help a child. So please get in touch to talk about how we can support you on your fostering journey.