What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
We use music, poetry and the arts to bring people together. They might be refugees, the elderly or just people who love to party! Everyone gets a vibrant experience of diverse cultures and
we also aim to counter negative perceptions of refugees and newer communities.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Refugee Rhythms will be held in the Milton Ward of Southend, a densely populated area of multiple deprivation*. It is an ethnically diverse area, 26% of the population is from of Black and Minority Ethnic groups* and we are staging this concert to recognise and celebrate all our communities during Refugee Week.
Our Friendship Projects have attracted over 50 people, including elderly and blind Southenders, refugees and volunteer helpers. We aim to double that number with Refugee Rhythms.
What is your solution?
Our concert will welcome all Southenders to enjoy a party atmosphere and to meet new people.
We will develop our Friendship Programme which brings groups and communities together through shared interests, including music, poetry, the arts and shared meals.
We aim to counter negative perceptions of refugees by their participation in Refugee Rhythms as musicians and poets. Future Friendship projects will showcase their skills as workshop leaders using their talents in singing, cooking, batik and mosaic art, drumming and dancing.
At a recent Friendship Project at the Caring Club for bereaved carers at Trinity Family Centre, the majority of 44 participants said they experienced loneliness and low self-confidence, saying the arts project showed “we’re not as daft as we look!”.
How will you deliver this?
Refugee Rhythms will be a celebration of global music, poetry and dance during Refugee Week. There will be songs, a band, drumming and trumpet-playing as well as poetry from local and international writers. This will bring people together to enjoy a shared experience and to further develop our links between newer communities and established Southenders.
The musicians, dancers and poets from diverse backgrounds will bring pleasure to a wide audience, and refugee participants will receive recognition for their skills and contribution.
Join us at the Railway Hotel if you can on Saturday June 21st from 8pm, or donate to our Friendship Programme to receive a signed CD or many other rewards.