Radius Housing teamed up with Building Communities Resource Centre to bring a fun and flamboyant Family Diversity Day to Portstewart on Saturday 4th September.
An array of culturally diverse activities was provided on the day including African Drumming Sessions with Wilson Magwere, Wilson is originally from Zimbabwe and is a well-known musician in NI. Wilson brings fun, music, singing and an occasional dance with him wherever he goes. People joining in the sessions in the park were thrilled to learn how to drum and hear a little about the culture of Zimbabwe from Wilson. We certainly made plenty of noise creating the call and response drumming together!
Bonny Cooper of China Connections provided beautiful and graceful Chinese Fan Dance sessions under the big tree in the park, just beside Flowerfield’s resident dragon which was very fitting as the dragon is a revered creature in Chinese culture. Bonny was also able to talk to participants about movement and posture bringing a calm and zen to the occasion.
“Still I Rise Diversity Storytelling” were also present and provided sessions where families could enjoy diverse stories in the auditorium. Stories were delivered in English and Arabic and covered topics including finding and settling in a new home, resilience, and kindness. Kids and adults alike thoroughly enjoyed the stories with the Auditorium doors thrown open fully to the beautiful view of the park and trees behind the stage.
Mouth-watering international cuisine was provided by Whoosh, Coleraine and Truva Meze situated at Ulster University Riverside Theatre. Families were treated to Chicken Fried Rice, a variety of Thai and Vietnamese Curry and traditional Turkish meze, kebabs, Naan and salad.
Marie Louise McClarey, BCRC Manager said;
“BCRC was delighted that the Family Diversity Day was well received by the local community – the storytelling worked well in the auditorium and children and their parents enjoyed the interaction with storytellers – equally the drumming proved lively for all families and the Chinese Fan Dance was a more calming option. Thanks to our partners Radius Housing and all the facilitators – great day had by all.”
Lisa Mooney, Communities Officer for Radius said she was delighted to work with BCRC on this event. She commented;
“The programme offered families in Portstewart a chance to come out and enjoy a socially distanced vibrant event. It brought connection and cultural exchange in the areas of health and well-being, arts, storytelling, music and dance. It was an event for the whole family to enjoy and we were delighted to see the obvious enjoyment and fun unfold, trying new activities and enjoying the delicious food. We continue to work in partnership with the local Advisory Group and residents to develop the Cappagh Green Good Relations Plan. The plan seeks to build good relationships and a sustainable community. We look forward to organising more events in Portstewart alongside the development of our housing at Cappagh Green.”
This programme was supported through the Department for Communities ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme, which has its origins in the NI Executive Together Building a United Community Strategy. The Department for Communities has invested £6,535,399 in the Cappagh Green Shared Housing development.
Radius has shared housing developments across Northern Ireland. Inclusive Bridging events in the wider community encourage a range of good relations outcomes which involve Health & Wellbeing and Education & Training.