You may recall that in the last issue of our newsletter, Trust Talk we told you about the funding we and Groundwork London had received from the Home Office Integration Programme to deliver a range of initiatives in Thamesmead for Third Country Nationals (TCNs); people from outside the European Union who have been living in Thamesmead for fewer than 10 years.
The aim of the project, called Cultivating Communities, is to help integrate TCNs from different cultures living in Thamesmead through an innovative programme using open spaces and food growing activities as well as providing skills-building including English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and basic skills courses, volunteering opportunities, befriending and community events.
We are now running gardening workshops where people can grow and harvest their own food and organising community events where residents celebrate cultural diversity through food, dance, music and oral histories. To date 12 of these events have been held.
We are also able to offer volunteering opportunities for participants to improve their social skills, broaden cultural understanding and provide increased social networks.
We are planning an Enterprise Week later this year which will include business seminars run by people who have established their own micro/ small enterprises in the fields of markets and commercial food growing. We hope through these seminars to inspire others to consider the potential for their own enterprises. In addition to seminars, participants will be offered one-to-one support and advice from these experts and the Groundwork team and signposting to other business support services.
The project got underway last October with varying levels of take-up so we are working hard to encourage people who qualify for this support to get involved so if you, or anyone you know, would be interested in finding our more we'd love to hear from them. Simply contact Jess Moles at the Trust who can provide more information and arrange registration, T: 020 8320 4470.