Near Neighbours Case Studies

The Luton Hub of Near Neighbours has been proud to fund a wide variety of exciting initiatives across Luton. Here is a selection of case studies of some of the projects that have taken place thanks to Near Neighbours Phase 2 funding (July 2014 to March 2016).  

Women's Faith Visits (Ghar se Ghar) This project brought together women from diverse faiths and cultures, giving them the opportunity to expand their horizons outside Luton, educate themselves and share their experiences. Women from different backgrounds went on trips to the Stoke Bruerne Waterways museum, a Sikh Gurdwara, Christian Church, Muslim Mosque and Hindu Temple, to experience a variety of heritage, cultures and faiths. This has enhanced the willingness of members of different Ghar se Ghar groups to work alongside each other even more for the good of the wider community. 

Women's Faith Visits

(Ghar se Ghar)

This project brought together women from diverse faiths and cultures, giving them the opportunity to expand their horizons outside Luton, educate themselves and share their experiences. Women from different backgrounds went on trips to the Stoke Bruerne Waterways museum, a Sikh Gurdwara, Christian Church, Muslim Mosque and Hindu Temple, to experience a variety of heritage, cultures and faiths. This has enhanced the willingness of members of different Ghar se Ghar groups to work alongside each other even more for the good of the wider community. 

High Town Bag (Konni Deppe &  Friends of High Town) This project created re-usable shopping bags to help build a greater awareness of environmental issues within the diverse community of High Town in Luton, also enhancing a sense of collectiveness between local shops and residents, promoting the local economy and prompting greater social action. It has provided local shop keepers with an easy way to engage with their customers about sustainability and the use of re-usable bags. This project is continuing with a new set of bags being prepared for sale and local shop keepers continuing to sign up and get involved!

High Town Bag

(Konni Deppe &  Friends of High Town)

This project created re-usable shopping bags to help build a greater awareness of environmental issues within the diverse community of High Town in Luton, also enhancing a sense of collectiveness between local shops and residents, promoting the local economy and prompting greater social action. It has provided local shop keepers with an easy way to engage with their customers about sustainability and the use of re-usable bags. This project is continuing with a new set of bags being prepared for sale and local shop keepers continuing to sign up and get involved!

Social Engagement For Women Across F&Cs (Sports4Wellbeing) This project aimed to gather women from different faith and cultures (F&Cs) to interact with each other, to understand and accept one another’s religion and background, and to offer a social environment to meet new people. There was a social, active and educational aspect to it, including an ESOL class based on culture, faith and background followed by a sporting activity such as Archery, Zumba, Zenga Fit and nutrition advice. Warm friendships build during this time continue, and many of the women continue to socialise by knitting, food sharing and so on.  

Social Engagement For Women Across F&Cs

(Sports4Wellbeing)

This project aimed to gather women from different faith and cultures (F&Cs) to interact with each other, to understand and accept one another’s religion and background, and to offer a social environment to meet new people. There was a social, active and educational aspect to it, including an ESOL class based on culture, faith and background followed by a sporting activity such as Archery, Zumba, Zenga Fit and nutrition advice. Warm friendships build during this time continue, and many of the women continue to socialise by knitting, food sharing and so on.  

Abrahamic Faith Discussion Group (St Mary's Church) This project gathered a group of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from Luton for a one-day training workshop that drew those present together for an encounter, dialogue and friendship building. Group discussions took place focusing on how we as a community can better work in unity to combat the diverse issues in the Middle East that also impact our lives here in Luton. Those that were present left feeling inspired and will soon be meeting once again to continue these discussions, and begin applying what has been safely discussed and agreed upon into practice. 

Abrahamic Faith Discussion Group

(St Mary's Church)

This project gathered a group of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from Luton for a one-day training workshop that drew those present together for an encounter, dialogue and friendship building. Group discussions took place focusing on how we as a community can better work in unity to combat the diverse issues in the Middle East that also impact our lives here in Luton. Those that were present left feeling inspired and will soon be meeting once again to continue these discussions, and begin applying what has been safely discussed and agreed upon into practice. 

Farley Hill Gardening Project (Reconciliation Walk Community) This project helped to create sustainable gardening areas in Farley Hill, in an area that is known for having anti-social behaviour, in preparation for being at the heart of the Annual Peace Walk. Local schools were involved in renovating three large flower beds in the main shopping square, in a project that also enabled them to speak of their dreams for peace in Farley Hill. Community feedback was excellent, as was the sense of community cohesion, as residents of different faiths and cultures came together to appreciate the work. Upkeep of the flower beds is continuing today!

Farley Hill Gardening Project

(Reconciliation Walk Community)

This project helped to create sustainable gardening areas in Farley Hill, in an area that is known for having anti-social behaviour, in preparation for being at the heart of the Annual Peace Walk. Local schools were involved in renovating three large flower beds in the main shopping square, in a project that also enabled them to speak of their dreams for peace in Farley Hill. Community feedback was excellent, as was the sense of community cohesion, as residents of different faiths and cultures came together to appreciate the work. Upkeep of the flower beds is continuing today!

Community Thank You Event (Al-Hikmah School and Bedfordshire Police) This project created a Community Thank You event to thank and award certificates to 220 people who had been involved in cohesion building and interfaith work over the preceding year, and to also help continuing to build strength and resilience in the town. This recognition helps to encourage future work by those already doing so, but also to others from the community who wish to support their community. This event helped to project Luton in a very positive light, enabled guests to network and form new links and partnerships, and is planned to continue in the future.

Community Thank You Event

(Al-Hikmah School and Bedfordshire Police)

This project created a Community Thank You event to thank and award certificates to 220 people who had been involved in cohesion building and interfaith work over the preceding year, and to also help continuing to build strength and resilience in the town. This recognition helps to encourage future work by those already doing so, but also to others from the community who wish to support their community. This event helped to project Luton in a very positive light, enabled guests to network and form new links and partnerships, and is planned to continue in the future.

Arts for All (Luton Open Arts & Hope Church) This project delivered participatory arts projects to encourage community cohesion and included work in groups which enabled people to learn new art skills, build lasting friendships and allow people to share their ideas. People of faith and no faith backgrounds were able to volunteer working on larger community events and both set up and deliver community art sessions, developing their confidence and giving them a sense of belonging. This project is now continuing with volunteer input and has encouraged other members of the local community to also get involved!

Arts for All

(Luton Open Arts & Hope Church)

This project delivered participatory arts projects to encourage community cohesion and included work in groups which enabled people to learn new art skills, build lasting friendships and allow people to share their ideas. People of faith and no faith backgrounds were able to volunteer working on larger community events and both set up and deliver community art sessions, developing their confidence and giving them a sense of belonging. This project is now continuing with volunteer input and has encouraged other members of the local community to also get involved!

Muslim/Christian Women's Group (University of Bedfordshire Chaplaincy “Treehouse')  This project was formed in response to the need identified by Muslim and Christian women at the University of Bedfordshire to be able to get to know each other, build friendships and work on joint activities together in a safe and friendly environment. Women were able to meet and to learn about the pressures on women, particularly that resulting from their faith and culture, as well as them sharing normal things about their lives and dreams. This group were then able to plan a Stop Hate Crime campaign and plans are in place for them to continue to meet!

Muslim/Christian Women's Group

(University of Bedfordshire Chaplaincy “Treehouse') 

This project was formed in response to the need identified by Muslim and Christian women at the University of Bedfordshire to be able to get to know each other, build friendships and work on joint activities together in a safe and friendly environment. Women were able to meet and to learn about the pressures on women, particularly that resulting from their faith and culture, as well as them sharing normal things about their lives and dreams. This group were then able to plan a Stop Hate Crime campaign and plans are in place for them to continue to meet!

Luton Annual Peace Walk Art Work (Luton Council of Faiths) This project enabled young school children from a number of schools in Luton to create Peace Artwork which was printed and displayed in the local community, and included the delivery of a Peace Artwork Workshop, Character and Value Development Workshop and School Assembly Faith Discussion Panels. The artwork was unveiled in St Dominic’s Square during the Annual Peace Walk, which has left a positive legacy and strengthened the relationships between faith leaders, communities, schools, places of worship and the local authority in the area.  

Luton Annual Peace Walk Art Work

(Luton Council of Faiths)

This project enabled young school children from a number of schools in Luton to create Peace Artwork which was printed and displayed in the local community, and included the delivery of a Peace Artwork Workshop, Character and Value Development Workshop and School Assembly Faith Discussion Panels. The artwork was unveiled in St Dominic’s Square during the Annual Peace Walk, which has left a positive legacy and strengthened the relationships between faith leaders, communities, schools, places of worship and the local authority in the area.

 

Check back again to read more case studies coming soon!