Coffee and Laughs

06 October 2016

“We can all learn something from each other. We’ve all got something to teach and we all have stories to tell.”

Marilyn Priday is a member of Coffee and Laughs Intercultural Women’s group in Maindee, Newport, a project that has received Active Communities funding. In this piece, Marilyn explains how the project is helping to break down barriers and encouraging new friendships.

“Maindee is a very diverse area and we wanted ladies of different faiths and cultures to have somewhere where they could come and make new friendships. One way we thought we could do this was by teaching English in an informal way as part of a group that they felt supported by.

“Our project started eight years ago and, at that time, we had lots of young women with children. Over the years, this has changed. We now have a lot of older ladies coming along who really believe in what the group is trying to do and they have become stalwarts.

“What we wanted to do is attract the younger ladies to the group again, as well as the older, and the way we have done this is by providing a crèche which we’ve never been able to afford to do before.  

“We had a party and called it a relaunch to get new people coming along.  It was a very vibrant event and we had loads of food which members of the group brought along and shared.

“Some of the ladies that have been coming for a long time have now become volunteers and they will be helping the new members to find their feet.

“We can all learn something from each other. We’ve all got something to teach and we all have stories to tell.

 “One lady who comes was the head of early years in a school but she had to retire early because of ill health. Since coming to Coffee and Laughs she’s made really good close friendships with people she would not have come into contact with before.  This has really enhanced her retirement.  We have lots of stories like that.  These solid friendships are invaluable.”

Marilyn Priday

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