On Friday evening I had the pleasure of visiting the Mayor of Dudley’ parlour to celebrate the launch of one of my groups, Black Country Integration Project.
Black Country Integration Project fosters friendship and understanding between people of different cultures, faiths and nationalities across the Black Country, beginning in Dudley borough. The group does this by matching families of children of similar ages and getting them socialising on days out so that they can learn about how much they have in common. The reasoning behind this is that children are not born with prejudices and having children of the same age can help to show people just how much they have in common!
I met the group last July, back when it was just an idea of founder member, Rachael Taylor. I hope that I was one of the people Rachael referred to in her speech on Friday who gave her the encouragement to achieve her goal. Over the months, I gave Rachael and her growing committee support, joining them on Monday evenings to help develop their business plan, encouraging them to link with organisations that might be interested in working with them, helping committee members to agree their constitution and signposting to funding opportunities.
Since then, Black Country Integration Project has linked with Butterfly Children’s Centre in Lye and receives referrals from there. The group has also successfully applied for funding from two Community First panels to pilot its project. More recently, Black Country Integration Project has been awarded almost £10,000 from Awards for All, which will enable the project to expand on its successful pilot. On top of that, the group now has a website and is on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
During her speech on Friday, Rachael was really complimentary about the ‘above and beyond’ support Dudley CVS has given. Really, it’s been an absolute pleasure to support the group and their success is really testament to the fabulous voluntary committee members who work so well together. I’m looking forward to supporting Black Country Integration Project in the future and wish them even greater success!