Thursday, 9 March 2023

Learning about Syrian - and Arabic - in Penznce

 A wonderful day today at St Mary's Primary School, Penzance, with Rawda Alater originally from Syria, who came to the UK as a refugee about six years ago. Rawda told students (of all ages) how it was to experience war, and have to leave your own country. She answered questions - however difficult - about missing her family and life in the UK.

Children learned how to say yes, no, hello and thank you in Arabic - so that if an Arabic speaker came to the school they could at least try and make contact. Rawda explained that this would have made a huge difference to her when she arrived in Truro.

Rawda also wrote children's names in Arabic. This was very popular!

Everyone had language postcards to take home to practise phrases once school had ended....

Mirabela at the Cornwall Equalities and Diversity Network

  So delighted that Mirabela Robatzchi - part of our team since before Covid - was able to attend the most recent meeting of the Cornwall Equalities and Diversity Network.  Mirabela has worked so hard on our project about migration and international workers in Cornwall  - I PACKED THIS MYSELF. So it was absolutely right that she should make the presentation. And it was a good one!

In summary:

I Packed This Myself/Migration - Mirabela

 Presentation of latest update from Bridging Arts as requested in previous meeting.

Mirabela Robatzchi (MR) works on project with Susan (Roberts).

 “I packed this myself” started as a discussion about migration

 More people on the move than ever and more than ever coming to Cornwall. Aim of

project to break down prejudice around those coming to live and work in Cornwall

and increase importance of role played by those born overseas who live and work


 Migrant workers previously came for things such as daffodil picking – now in

hospitality, care workers and range of other areas which need work force in Cornwall

 Suitcases – find out from migrant workers what they would take with them in their

suitcase that shows something about their heritage, choices etc. Slides shown which

revealed what people had packed.

 Art showing range of issues raised was presented. Exhibits have been used in school

and assemblies to discuss with children (y2 – y6). This was to try and explain this to

children who may comprehend better and relay information or findings to their own

families. Secondary schools not as successful.

 Used cards with basic phrases in English and Portuguese, Romanian etc. to aid


 Asked children what they would take if you had to make a long journey, to open the

discussion. Went very well with children interacting fully and designed their own

‘suitcases’ with what they would take. Also, how would it make you feel?

 Watched video on link. The Welcome Song video was taken at summer camp as

diverse group of children in attendance and Susan from Bridging Arts

 Project continues to run. Susan tried secondary schools

but not receptive. Would need to be part of a curriculum session rather than

assembly. Mirabela has a history in conflict resolution in adolescents and it would

assist in avoiding conflicts which arise from racism in Cornwall. This would then

support the fight against bullying in schools and also encourage children to be aware

of others and awareness of a need for equality.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Monday, 27 February 2023

Cutting cauliflower in Cornwall


It's the time of year when fields in west Cornwall are filled with workers cutting cauliflowers and picking daffodils... This is hard and back-breaking work - particularly on wet and/or frosty mornings - and is done almost uniquely from workers from overseas. The industry couldn't continue without these international workers.

Friday, 24 February 2023

Photography workshop in Truro with international nurses

 A wonderful workshop yesterday in Truro, Cornwall, with international nurses from the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske. Many have not been here for many months, so this was a great introduction to the city - led by our photography tutor Mike Newman.  Thank you Hall for Cornwall for providing such a splendid cream tea (what an introduction to Cornish cuisine!) and allowing us to visit the theatre.

A full report on

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Photography workshops with international nurses working in Truro


A cold but inspiring afternoon in Falmouth last week when international nurses from the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, joined us for a photography workshop led by Mike Newman. Stills of the photographers in action by Caleb Giddens.

This is part of our project I PACKED THIS MYSELF, funded by Cornwall Council and aimed at breaking down prejudice and increasing understanding of the people from overseas who play a vital role in the local economy and our lives.
The photography workshops are funded through Magic Little Grant through the partnership between Localgiving and Postcode Society Trust.  Postcode Society Trust is a grant-giving charity funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Localgiving is the UK’s leading membership and support network for local charities and community groups.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Cristingle messages with a difference

We were delighted to work with Penlee Cluster to develop Cristingle materials with a difference this year. The cut-out birds carrying messages of peace and goodwill in different languages - welcoming people from overseas to Cornwall - were created by children in schools in Penzance, west Cornwall, and surrounding areas this past Christmas (2022).  Click here to read more.

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