University project welcomes all 'Home'

University project welcomes all 'Home'

The Elphinstone Institute at The University of Aberdeen has secured one hundred and fifty thousand pounds for a new project to help build integrated and diverse communities in the North-East.

The Home-Hame- Дом-Dom project is a new initiative that aims to build a sense of community and facilitate links between newcomers to the region and those who have lived in the North-East for a long time.

Funded by the North Aberdeenshire Local Action Group, the year-long project will deliver a programme of workshops, events and social gatherings in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Macduff and Turriff.

Starting with a taster event with on July 20, the project will use culture and the creative arts to create opportunities for people to get to know each other, and will include activities for adults, for families and for young people.

Project Co-ordinator for the Home project, Claire Needler explains: ‘Home’ is a creative learning project for everyone who lives in north Aberdeenshire. It will be an international exploration of being at home and being a long way from home. 

“Evidence shows that migrants from a Central and East European background who move to here for work, often have limited contact with local communities, and may experience social isolation and loneliness.

“By creating opportunities for people to get to know each other, this project will help to break down social barriers and forge new links. Other potential benefits include improved language skills, greater understanding of shared culture, increased community capacity, increased confidence among participants, and stronger social networks.

“We hope that new and lasting friendships will develop between people originating from different cultures, and that people new to the area will get involved with long-established community groups, and also that people who have lived here for a long time will be encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and stories of newer arrivals.”

All activities are free and will  include International Community Cafes, theatre workshops, storytelling, music and song, dance, and craft. The programme will be designed in partnership with participants, and the project partners, the WEA and Modo.