Newington Green project to bring community together with events and initiatives

Newington Green. Picture: Googlemaps

Newington Green. Picture: Googlemaps - Credit: Googlemaps

A volunteer project seeking to build a strong sense of community in Newington Green has been bringing people together during the coronavirus pandemic.

Newington Green Alliance was founded by 14 local organisations, including non-religious church New Unity, production hub Scary Little Girls, not-for-profit organisation Dissenters N16, and Imece, a women-only space to support Turkish, Kurdish, Black, Asian, other minority ethnic, refugee and migrant women.

It has been hosting a number of events both online and in person, in accordance with safe social-distancing requirements.

READ MORE: Newington Green’s Turkish community marks centenary since birth of country’s modern independence movementOne initiative includes a weekly English/Turkish conversation group, which sees people speaking English and Turkish learn to communicate with each other.

Other events include one-to-one youth mentoring for teenagers aged between 14 and 17 and a programme for white and other privileged people to learn and reflect on racism, seeking to build a tolerant and inclusive community spirit.

Andy Pakula, minister at New Unity, told the Gazette: “Everybody we’ve spoken to recognises the importance of building a community, people didn’t recognise this as much before the pandemic.

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“The culture has changed (since the pandemic), which is a great thing. It has moved from thinking that we don’t need anybody else.

“It has become a culture where mutual age groups are coming out and doing amazing things for people. People are just being friendlier on the street, are taking care of each other, isolating to protect each other.

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“It has been a huge lesson and I hope this culture change sticks.”

The diverse roster of local organisations in the alliance aims to be representative of the multicultural community in Newington Green.

While individual communities within the area may have a strong sense of community within their own groups, the Newington Green Alliance hopes to bring these different communities together.

Andy added: “Newington Green is a particularly interesting place, but I hope that we will create a replicable model that can be used in many different areas.

“We want to create an effective way of building community just about anywhere.”

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