International café breaks down social barriers thanks to new local funding

08 August 2013

The International Lady’s Café in Blythe has been awarded funding of over £23,000 by People’s Health Trust – using money raised by HealthAble through The Health Lottery.

The investment has allowed Cowpen Quay Community Association to set up the International Lady’s Café - a new group for local women who feel socially or culturally isolated – helping them to feel more confident and engaged with their local community and make new friends.

The group will serve as a meeting point for women who move into the local area. Short courses such as English, cookery and crafts will be available at the weekly meeting at the Buffalo Community Centre in Blyth.

Eilieen Cartie – Development Manager at Cowpen Quay Community Association, said: “It’s so important that people feel part of a community, and that’s exactly what the women who attend our sessions get: somewhere to feel comfortable, learn new skills, and learn about other cultures and customs.

“I think it’s really important that all groups of people have a sense a belonging to the community they live in, and this funding has helped us provide this and more.”

John Hume – Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, said: “We’re really happy to support The International Lady’s Café. It’s ideas like this that help to bring communities together and create a sense of belonging, ultimately creating a better place to grow, live, work and age well.”

Supported by two development workers, both previous attendees of similar groups in the area, the International Lady’s Café also works closely with local colleges to provide language skills for migrants.

Sylwia Jamroz, a sessional development worker at the centre, said: “I started volunteering at the Buffalo Community Centre last year because there was a need for a Polish-speaking teaching-assistant during the language classes. I really enjoyed it, and it also helped me develop my English skills too. I then became a paid worker for the International Lady’s Café group, and was very happy that people were appreciating my input to the group.

“My enthusiasm and motivation for helping other women that need the support and encouragement I did not have when I moved to England continues to grow.”

 

 

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