The People &
The People and Communities project will engage mainly Syrian Refugee families (but also include Asylum seeker families or individuals) in a series of initiatives that will support of a process of connecting with the wider community in relation to Integration, capacity building as ‘Community champions’ and an additional focus on personal development to become role models as inter-community educators.
Activities will take place at the Victoria Park Pavilion ‘Community Hub’. This venue will be used as a fixed base for supporting a process of transformation; starting on a basis and challenging in the local context, that Syrian refugee families are in danger of ‘Self-Polarisation’ due to misinformation, false expectations and a lack of trust with the established sector.
"Only seven weeks into our programme we begun bouncing around ideas of a cafe serving authentic Arabic cuisine. These ladies have worked extremely hard in putting together a selection of foods for the local community, bringing a taste of home to their new lives here in Pendle".
Marhaba Cafe & Salar Kitchen
As part of the People and Communities project which engages local Syrian Refugee and Asylum Seeker families or individuals, a group of local Syrian ladies have been meeting over the last few months at the Pavillion Park Café in Nelson to meet new friends, chat and cook together.
Following this, we started an initiative called Marhaba Café at Victoria Park Pavilion, Community Hub and Café in Nelson. This involved working Syrian Refugees to help them establish links within the local community through food.
The café has allowed them to provide a taste of their culture through food and conversation whilst at the same time helping them settle into life in this country and also enhance language skills through running the café. Over the months the ladies have been responsible for cooking food, ordering ingredients and serving customers at the café, picking up skills that would be required if they were ever to open a business for themselves.
Through the Marhaba Café we learned of Ozra’s Persian background as she is an Asylum Seeker from Iran. The Salar Kitchen came about through conversation and inspiration from Ozra, providing her with a chance and platform to showcase her culture through her food. This is running every Tuesday at the Victoria Park Pavilion, putting Ozra at the forefront of any activity.
Our Shared Futures
The project engages refugee and asylum seeker families in Pendle to build connections and friendships with other local families of different backgrounds. The project is aimed at helping to deepen their knowledge and understanding of one another, along with developing trust and respect in relation to community cohesion.
The families were paired together and undertook a journey where they learned about each other through taking part in many varied activities. These activities ranged from digital conversations over zoom, having a coffee or dinner with each other, going for a walk and visiting each other’s homes.
Throughout the project we managed to capture the feelings and emotions of family to tell the story of the journey that had been on together. The whole aim of the project and video is to inspire people to build relationships with people from different backgrounds and show what can be achieved by doing so. It also aims to help refugee and asylum seekers to feel part of the community and give them the confidence to express themselves and their culture