Published 18th July 2013

A taste of Somers Town brings divided community together

Community organiser Rebekah Duncan tells us how the ‘A Taste of Somers Town’ event brought a divided community together over a three course meal:

A lack of cohesion within Somers Town – a deprived and densely populated area between Kings Cross and Euston – is one of the key issues which came out of our listenings in the community.

Somers Town community organisers Rebekah Duncan and Vijya Patel.

My fellow community organiser Vijya Patel and I found a large desire from varying groups and individuals in the community for more intergenerational and multicultural events to tackle tensions and disintegration.  People wanted to live in an area where you knew your neighbours and members of your community.

A volunteer of mine was specifically concerned about her mother who spoke very little English and struggled to go out of the house and mix with others.  She and others felt this was a common problem among many of the older generation of Bengali women in Somers Town, especially with relation to mixing at multicultural gatherings.

We had also come across conflict and tensions between the ‘old Somers Towners’ and new members of the community stemming from a housing issue 20 years ago…

Both sides of the conflict had felt a lack of recognition and interaction between them had added to the tension over the years.

From this ‘A Taste of Somers Town’ was born, an event addressing issues of cohesion, integration, and tensions in the community.

Rebekah and volunteers collect a trolley full of supplies for ‘A Taste of Somers Town’

My volunteers and I organised four local performing artists; a singer and drama group, local businesses/organisations held stalls and we had experiment, facilitation, and craft sessions and a food waste charity provided a three course meal for the community.

Food Cycle and volunteers prepare a three course meal.

It was a fabulous successful event with diverse, old and new faces attending and mixing together.

My volunteer’s mother also came to the event and spoke with a number of people she had not met before, including our resident Tefl teacher.

When evaluating the event at the end of the evening and asking what the community wanted they replied “more events like this”… and with that we will be rolling out our next ‘A Taste of Somers Town’ Spring event in March!

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