Sunday, July 13, 2008

Polonia - developing the Polish community on Merseyside

Having bumped into Ghosia from Yellow House at the Newsham Park Festival, I went to visit her last week in Marmaduke Street to talk about a project she wants to launch in the area.

Focussing mainly on Kensington and Picton, because that is where a lot of Poles have settled, Ghosia wants to set up a project where the focus is on monthly meetings to bring together the Polish and English communities in Liverpool to support community cohesion through talks, presentations, screenings and cultural activities.

Certain areas of tension are apparent - for instance Polish people are antagonistic about the police as they dont have good community relations with the police back home and have not yet always learnt that in Liverpool things are very different. Many Poles, according to Ghosia, work hard all day, go home to bed, go back to work and live quite isolated lives, not engaging with their neighbourhoods.

Ghosia hopes to change this by bringing people together regularly, learning more about each other's cultures and way of life and helping to improve community cohesion. There will also be the opportunity for the different service providers to explain their services - like the bin men for instance, talking about how the bin service operates and how recycling should work, or Job Centre Plus or Housing Associations etc. Also groups like the Friends of Newsham Park and the TRAs talking about the activities that Poles can join in with.

I hope that working with Wendy and Liam we can support this initiative.

4 comments:

Paul said...

Louise

V useful post, thanks.

I and like-minded colleagues, especially in the bits of the voluntary sector I work with (e.g. Home-Start) are looking at similar stuff here over the border here in West Lancashire, and are developing some interest from the local PCT amongst others.

The Polish community here is centred both in Skelmersdale, often working in the factories by the M58, and in the agricultural area further north around Tarleton.

Perhaps Ghosia and I might link up at some point, courtesy of your good offices, and have a discussion about what might be possible (not least with my grant-giving founsation hat on?). N obig hurry - whenever you/she gets a mo.

Louise Baldock said...

Absolutely great idea.

Email me at louise dot baldock at liverpool dot gov dot uk and I will put you in touch with Ghosia

Or you can google for the Yellow House, Marmaduke Street, Liverpool L7 and I think they have an email address on their website

Cheers - let me know how you get on!

Paul said...

ok

i used to funding stuff with/for Yellow House back in the 90s when i lived in liverpool

great organisation

i'll get straight on to Ghosia to save u hassle but keep u informed if anything comes of it

paul

Louise Baldock said...

Thanks Paul, fingers crossed.