Breaking down cultural barriers

London, England

Challenge team: Finchley Church End Library and Community Network Group CIC Place

Population of London: 8.9 million

Summary: This challenge team in north London is bringing together community leaders and decision makers with people from non-UK backgrounds to help break down cultural barriers.

Community Network Group CIC (CNG) is a community-driven, non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged migrants in Finchley in the north of London to participate fully in society. Following Brexit, Covid-19 and the resulting economic turmoil, CNG became aware that many people from migrant and European backgrounds were facing an increase in racism and xenophobia, resulting in social exclusion and loneliness. 

Working with Finchley Church End Library, CNG is bringing community leaders and decision makers together with people from non-UK backgrounds in the safe environment of the library to re-establish common values and cater for the social needs of a diverse community.

This initiative aims to break down barriers between communities by creating a bespoke programme of cultural and social activities to provide a platform where people can engage with each other. The challenge team has organised a series of face-to-face and remote gatherings following various themes (including common history and culture, European arts, music, literature, immigration, welfare, mental health, financial issues and unemployment). 

They are also planning a series of workshops run by professionals who are keen to support the community. Through these initiatives, people can get engaged and learn from each other, reduce isolation and increase their mental and physical wellbeing.

The challenge team said: “Our aim is to bring together people from different European backgrounds to maintain a mutual exchange of cultural values between them, which can result in harmonious relationships and dialogue. We hope to contribute to strengthening their ties with society and discuss major challenges to the development of society.”

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