27 / 02 / 20
In the West Midlands, our new Community Dialogue Project is well under way as sixteen community groups meet around Walsall, coming together to get to know each other better. We are working with local people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including community garden volunteers, housing association tenants and parents taking their children to football (to name just a few!). Each community group will hold six dialogue sessions between now and September which aim to connect people and provide an opportunity for different groups to link together.
With conversations in full flow, one participant reflects on their experience of being part of a dialogue session co-facilitated by Walsall Creative Factory, “[I was] very happy to come here, refreshing my mind and enjoying myself.”
During the session, fifteen women came together to create a piece of art incorporating different traditional patterns and languages, reflecting the diversity of the group’s members. It was inspiring to see participants learn about each other and start to open up about themselves through drawing, as one painted quote read ‘[we are] united in colours.’
Across the other side of town, one of the projects Community Connectors from Age Matters co-facilitated a dialogue session with members of the Men’s Social Group. Commenting on its success, he said, ‘our first session was well received, one participant in particular was more talkative then I’d ever seen. The guys enjoyed speaking about themselves and we had some interesting stories relayed.” Our dialogue project compliments the groups wider aim of bringing older people together in the local area to combat social isolation and support people to engage in their local area.
As the project gains momentum over the coming months, we are excited to watch connections form and friendships grow!