24 October 2019

Black History Month (BHM) event at Eccles Town Hall

BHM_main

Hormoz talks about Result CIC's support for BAME Mental Health Champions to create a wonderful event for Black History Month.

I have to say that this is a relatively unusual event to get involved with at Result CIC! 

However, when I started working with the BAME Mental Health Champions, talk of holding an event which celebrated and yet educated people at the same time was welcomed. Black History Month seemed like a good time to highlight the cultural mix of the city of Salford but also to shed further light on the purpose of the group. The group is there to create more awareness of the mental health challenges in their community. To work to reduce stigma in their communities by being role models and to create new ones.

What a lovely afternoon it turned out to be! The deputy Mayor Councillor Boshell opened proceedings, welcoming all and being drummed in by Olusina Odunjo – perhaps a first!

This was followed by a speech by Councillor Wilson Nkurunziza who became a refugee here 17 years ago having left Burundi which was affected by civil war. Despite experiencing some barriers with his English he went on to do a degree in Business Studies followed later with a Masters in Social Studies. He is now a councillor for Langworthy – quite an achievement in a relatively short time.

Linzi Brook then mapped out what was available during the afternoon and I talked about the great work that the Champions had not only put this event but the work they have done so far. Watch this space for an exciting project which is to follow about their stories and plans of how to work with the community.

Click on the arrow in the image below to see a Flickr gallery.

Mental Health Champions BHM

Proceedings started with poet Ella Otomewo who read two of her own poems and ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou. This was a good link to the photography exhibition by Allie Crewe displaying portraits of some BAME people who work in Salford. She also held poetry workshops for those interested to explore this method of expression of their stories.

We also had poetry, rap and soul singing from the duo J Ahmed and Gillian. Personal poems/rap were combined with soul songs – an unusual and powerful combination. J Ahmed talked from the heart about challenges with his poetry. 

There were crochet dolls and clothing, a stall of craft making for children (and keen adults!) and clothing from around the world with stories about items of clothing and how they contributed towards certain ongoing traditions and which have influenced Western cultures. 

There was food from the Middle East, the Caribbean and Africa – what a delight! Thank you to the Champions Rachael, Chicka and Amir who made it happen and to Katarzyna who practically emptied the content of a polish bakery to provide wonderful cakes for the visitors.

This was all combined with stalls, several of which had an important focus on mental health. Start Inspiring Minds, Majic Sport and H&H Family Centre, Six Degrees, Sapphire Women’s Foundation, Caribbean and African Health Network, 42nd Street (workshop) all work either fully or partly in this area. Their contributions and presence were much appreciated. This was combined with stands with a cultural focus like the Yemeni and Polish communities.

Finally African drumming and dancing ended the fun and informative afternoon with everyone leaving the beautiful Eccles Town Hall with a big smile!

Thank yous to the staff at the Hall who were extremely helpful, all involved at Salford CCG especially Linzi Brook, all contributors mentioned above and importantly the Champions Michal, Amir, Rachael, Abiodun, Katarzyna, Jauharah, Ngozi, Derek and Dua who contributed and worked so hard to bring this event to life. 

 
 
 
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