In 2015, DPIA was awarded £4,918 by Community Foundation in Wales to deliver a project with ACE (Action in Caerau and Ely) to bring local refugees, asylum seekers and other people in the community together.
What we did:
Weekly 1:2:1 English practice classes: Local volunteers assisted in a new weekly 1:2:1 English conversation practice class at the Hub.
Weekly FAN Group: A weekly FAN group was started up at the Hub. FAN stands for Friends and Neighbours and gives local people the chance to meet together in the spirit of friendship and talk about their daily lives. It’s also a great way for those learning English to improve their speaking and build confidence in speaking with others.
Weekly Cooking group: Meeting weekly to cook and eat together. This proved a great way to try different dishes from all over the globe, including Afghanistan, Sudan, Wales, England, Pakistan and Poland. We also compiled a community cookbook with local people contributing their favourite recipes.
In April we had a community feast, meeting as a diverse group from many cultures to enjoy some Nigerian food and an evening of storytelling. This was well attended and a fantastic way to get together with a lot of laughs shared!
We hosted a community family event to bring the community together and raise awareness about the many activities run by ACE. This was well attended and we enjoyed good weather, drumming, face painting, hair braiding etc. There was a lovely atmosphere with a real sense of community and friendship. This event was also supported by the FAN charity, the local Fire station, Sport Cardiff and volunteers. ACE also gave out advice on saving energy with many energy saving freebies given away!
The aim of this project was to promote integration between the more established community living in Ely and Caerau and the refugee community here.
Quotes from Participants and Volunteers
‘I love coming to classes. I look forward to them every week. My confidence with English has grown and I have cooked my food for 20 people!’
‘Before the English classes I had lived in Ely for 5 years but never come to any activities in the Hub. Now the Hub is one of my favourite places in Ely’
About the FAN group: ‘I enjoyed the morning! What a fantastic group of countries for one small group- England, Wales, Pakistan, Eritrea, Zambia, Poland and the Ukraine.’