On Monday 20th June 2016 Zarqa Hussain attended the ‘Emerging Communities Event’ on behalf of GDAS and has written the following report about the event.

The overall objective was for the hosts to provide feedback on a Pilot Project which focused specifically on ‘Engaging with Ethnic Minority Communities in Gwent.

The event gave an outline of the Project which was commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and lasted 10 months instead of the twelve. Race Council Cymru (RCC) undertook this project and a PCSO from Gwent was given the role of working within the communities across Gwent for a set number of hours per week.

RCC shared their findings and recommendations, if you would like to find out more please follow this link http://www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/

The Event took place at the start of National refugee Week. The most moving part for me of the morning was to hear stories from Refugees who have come to live in Newport. They all individually stood in front of the whole event and spoke about their ‘Journey’ and how being in Gwent has opened up many doors of opportunities and some of the struggles they faced but overall very positive outcomes. All of those presenting their story had been engaged in English classes facilitated by The Red Cross.

Another part of the mornings event was focussed on raising awareness of the support that is available for victims of Hate Crime through Victim Support.  Further details and resources  are available on http://www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/

As part of continuing work within our own organisation all attendees were asked to make a ‘Pledge’, please see mine on behalf of GDAS in photo below. I hope that as workers we can continue to be proactive in our learning and reach out to ‘hard to reach communities’ all across Gwent.

The session ended with ‘question time’ with the PCC, Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Chief Executive and Chair of the Race Council Cymru, Red Cross, Victim Support and Robert (Refugee representative). (see photo above).

My objective for attending was to get a better understanding of what has worked and where things need to be developed in Engaging with Ethnic Minority Communities in rural communities of Gwent. I feel I have better insight of the types of things that will help and over the next few months I hope to fulfil my Pledge that I made by continuing to raise awareness within the localities I work in.  I also hope that further funding can be secured / commissioned by the PCC for the work that has merely started to be developed across Gwent with this Pilot Project, so that all communities access the services we offer should they want to without any obstacles.

My Pledge on behalf of GDAS