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Cardiff Community Development Network (CCDN)
Nature of community cohesion initiative
Education and awareness raising in relation to minority faith communities. Myth busting.
People from Muslim, Hindu and Sikh backgrounds.
Background to this initiative
The CCDN is a multi-agency network for anyone involved in community development in Cardiff. It has 180 members, including workers from grass-roots organisations, the statutory sector and national charities.
Feedback from member organisations identified working with minority faith communities in Cardiff as being a key issue. Thus for the period 2005 - 2006, the CCDN steering group devised a programme of events to break down barriers and tackle misconceptions.
Key stakeholders who contributed to the project
- Community Development Network members
- VAC member organisations such as Black Voluntary Sector Network Wales
- Communities First in Cardiff
Aim of the project
To break down barriers and tackle misconceptions in relation to minority faith communities in Cardiff and to create working links between specific communities and development agencies in the city.
- To hold community development events in three faith based venues in Cardiff in 2006-2007;
- To offer training to Network members on working with diverse communities in 2006-2007;
- To link this theme to the Community Development Network Faces, Spaces and Places Conference in December 2006.
Brief outline of the initiative
Contacts were made with a number of minority faith leaders in Cardiff with a view to hosting a joint event at their community venue. It was seen as an opportunity to tackle misconceptions on both sides and learn with and from each other. As a result:
- A joint event happened at the S.D.M. Hindu Temple. This consisted of a myth-busting session (using humour to break down barriers), a session of prayers in the Temple for those who wanted to attend, a question and answer session and then a participation exercise using creativity/art for the Hindu community to develop a vision for their community.
- Promoting Connectivity with Our Muslim Communities session. Muslim community workers of diverse heritages worked together to develop a session where the diverse Muslim communities in Cardiff were explored from personal, historical and social perspectives. A support and advice session then gave participants an opportunity to explore their own issues.
- Several Sikh communities in Cardiff were contacted but this has not yet resulted in an event.
- A Reducing the Fear Factor session - a one-off training session to help community workers engage and work with people whose cultural heritage is different to their own.
- Cultural Cool Training session - people of diverse communities explored together their experiences and ideas around cohesion and diversity.
Duration of the project
The Project lasted from 2006 until 2007. However, aspects of the Project, such as the key role that the Network can play in promoting social inclusion, continue to be highlighted and to be supported by VAC. It is planned that the Network, together with Communities First in Cardiff, will organise a further series of social inclusion events in 2007-2008.
VAC staff and resources from its core funding together with a one-off grant provided by the Assembly via Wales Council for Voluntary Action for enhanced networking activities supported the activity in 2006-2007. In 2008-2009, the work will be supported by VAC from core funding as well as being part of its Communities First programme.
- Network meetings
- Training and Events
- Event Reports
- Website updates
Outcome of the initiative and how the outcome was measured
- SDM Hindu community members accessed services by voluntary and statutory organisations they were previously unaware of. They actively participated in the Faces, Places & Spaces community development conference.
- Participants commented that the knowledge gained was practically applicable and would help them to develop their work.
- The training sessions brought it home that the barriers faced are mostly psychological (perceived) and empowered many participants to overcome these barriers.
- One participant commented in an evaluation that "underneath we are all the same."
If actions were funded, how much was contributed and from what source?
This work was made possible through a one-off sum of £4k made available to VAC via WCVA for enhancing the work of existing networks in 2006 - 2007.
It would have been good to have had a consistent amount of funding for this work and not to have to rely on "crumbs" from whichever source. Designated funding would also have meant that it would have been possible to continue the work without having to stop and start as has been the case with the Network.
The strength of this work is that it has been based on strong networking and partnerships and a community development approach to participation and learning. It is clear that there are no shortcuts to achieving social inclusion and that it has to be based on consistent and persistent but sensitive and responsive activity.
Contact details for further information
Name: Margaret McLaughlin
Organisation: Voluntary Action Cardiff
Tel: 029 2048 5722
E mail: Margaret.email@example.com