At Up Our Street we love working closely with local people but sometimes we also get the opportunity to meet active citizens from further afield. In December we played tour guide to a group of community activists from Bangladesh, Lithuania, South Korea and the UK showing them the highlights of our city and its community projects.
As part of our British Council funded Active Citizens programme, we host a group of visitors from other cities around the world who are also taking the course to develop a social action project in their part of the world.
During our three days we had a packed itinerary showing the variety of great community action in our area. We started off with a tour of Bristol visiting the old city and learning about our interesting history. Despite the chilly weather we enjoyed hearing about the colourful stories from our city’s past and we all learnt a lot. This was followed by a visit to City Hall and a chat with some of Up Our Street’s trustees and an insight into how politics works in the city. In the evening trustees and staff from Up Our Street joined the visitors for a true British cuisine – an Indian restaurant!
The following day was packed full with visits to Barton Hill Settlement, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, In Bristol Studios and Café Conscious. The group found they learnt a lot from the projects and all remarked how great it is that diverse communities work together in Easton and Lawrence Hill. They also felt that the community organisations they visited were working in a collaborative way, with partnerships being the key to success. The afternoon’s highlight was our Carols and Samosas in Lawrence Hill underpass with Somali Kitchen and Allsorts Choir followed by a delicious meal put on by Leisure Café on Stapleton Road. Community worker Khalil Abdi joined us to talk about Bristol’s Somali community while café staff served us an amazing selection of dishes.
Our final day was spent at Ujima learning about community radio and being interviewed by Roger Griffith for his Big Conversations show. Everyone enjoyed their five minutes of fame being broadcast live to the city!
Our visitors all took away the impression of Bristol as a place where diverse people come together and get on with one another which is a great endorsement of our inner city neighbourhood.
For the past two years, Up Our Street has delivered free Active Citizens training which provides the skills and support for local people to develop projects where they live. If you are interested in the next course which starts on 20 January then contact firstname.lastname@example.org