Helping to highlight the important contribution that immigrants make

Sian Finn

Recently volunteers and staff from our Birmingham projects Talking Together, Time Together and Hidden Carers set up a TimeBank stall at the One Day Without Us event. 

It was hosted by HOPE not Hate community organisers at the Ort Gallery and Café in Moseley, as part of a national campaign that highlights the important contributions that immigrants, both economic and those fleeing from war, make to our economy and diverse social tapestry. 

We were treated to art exhibitions by Syrian survivors, installations of traditional clothing and a demonstration of how to use a textile loom in the old way. The Afghan Association provided delicious food and The Real Junk Food Project supplied vegan food, all on a pay what you feel basis. 

We were there to talk about all the TimeBank volunteering projects running across Birmingham and the West Midlands, recruit potential volunteers and spark the interest of learners, carers and those who could benefit from our projects.  Seven volunteers came and supported the event and it was wonderful to see their enthusiasm and dedication and how passionately they talked to members of the public about TimeBank and the projects they are involved with. 

It was my first meeting with some of the volunteers and I truly felt like a part of something big.  This was also my first community event representing TimeBank and I can honestly say it was a joy meeting so many new people and getting to know our fabulous volunteers whilst raising TimeBank’s profile at a grassroots level.

Later in the evening there were several performances from across the globe.  There was an African gentleman playing the Kora known as the African Harp and singing traditional Mandinka songs. This was an absolute treat to hear and see played.  I thought the sound was a cross between a harp and a cello.  It was a great way to end this heart warming event.

Siân is project co-ordinator of our new project in Birmingham, Hidden Carers, that supports carers who may not realise they are care givers and and need to improve their confidence and skills in English to access carer support. We are now recruiting volunteers to run a series of workshops to explain what services are available. If you’d like to know more, take a look here.  

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