REFUGEE RHYTHMS - a concert celebrating music, poetry and dance from around the world.

by CAST- Communities and Asylum-Seekers Together

About the project


Tipping Point £600
Refugee Rhythms rocks! £1,200
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

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. *2011 census
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.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Share your support and enthusiasm- tell a friend
  • 5 minutes
    Post invites to Refugee Rhythms on your blog, twitter or facebook.
  • 15 minutes
    Meet a friend at a cafe to share a coffee, and leave a poster there.
  • 30 minutes
    Pop round to your local cafes, libraries and shops and leave flyers and posters.
  • A few hours
    Volunteer to help at our Friendship Projects
  • Regular time commitment
    Come to CAST meetings and find out what’s going on and how you can be involved.

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About the organisation

Vision and mission

CAST aims to support the needs and celebrate the achievements of refugees and newer communities in Southend on Sea and the East of England. We aim to tackle loneliness and isolation among established Southenders and newer communities through a range of activities in our Friendship Programme.

Geographical coverage

Within local community (including local council)

Our track record

Our Refugee Week concert last year was a joyful evening of Scottish and Russian folk song, and drumming from Zimbabwe and Togo. Expect even more fun and brilliant music and poetry this year, after enthusiastic feedback from our first concert. We have held Friendship Projects in Family Centres and residential homes across Southend involving refugees and established Southenders, based on mosaic arts, music and poetry. We are involved with the British Red Cross, Refugee Action and Christian Aid. We held our first conference last year which was well attended.

How do we deliver this?

We aim to bring communities together to address isolation and loneliness through our Friendship Projects, and have involved elderly bereaved, families and blind people. We also help refugees, offering advice and support and signposting them to appropriate services. We liaise with local community and statutory organisations and are active in night shelters and Southend Homeless Action Network.

Awards And Recognitions

We have individually and collectively received the following awards: - Good for Leigh - Southend in Bloom - Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Community Champion, working with Southend Zimbabwean Network and Community Mosaics East. We are supported by the Metropolitan Migrant Trust.