04 / 05 / 21
by Mahmooda Qureshi
Over the past year, since we started the dialogues in Walsall, it had been amazing to see the journey people have been on, especially those who participated in the dialogues. The fact that people who had never met each other before, had the opportunity to get to know one another over a series of dialogues has been heartening to see.
The lockdown had thrown us all off our tracks for a while. In a strange way, to know that we are all finding our way to navigate through the challenging times, to know that we’re all in the same boat, was comforting to know at the same time.
Despite the challenges of learning to use the technology, the participants persevered. It paid off in the end. Not only did the participants make good friendships, but they also made good partnerships that enabled them to do things together. It was inspiring to find out that two linked groups ended up doing a podcast together. Evaluation of the project enabled us to speak to the participants and Community Connectors. Significant numbers of people felt they should all do something together, now that they’ve been introduced to one another.
As F&BF, we were already working in partnership with Walsall for All, we also expanded the partnership with Near Neighbours, Black Country and the Walsall Police. This should give us the opportunity to support other great initiatives of empowering and bringing diverse communities together.