Medway Festival of Cultures
Medway Festival of Cultures celebrated diversity in Medway on August 30th, 2014 at Chatham Riverside. The event was inaugurated by the Worshipful Mayor of Medway Cllr Barry Kemp and Mayoress Mrs Joyce Kemp with Cllr Mike O’Brien (Children’s Services) inaugurating the disability friendly arts workshop.
The event was funded by Community Development Foundation, Medway Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and few Councillors, and sponsored by We Care Physiotherapy, Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre, Cheema Construction Group, Domino's Pizza, ROKO gym, Gillingham Football club, and many more. Many thanks to Councillors Mike O’Brien, Rehman Chisti, Barry Kemp, Pat Cooper, Andy Stamp and Adrian Gulvin for sponsoring the craft and drumming workshops.
"It gave us all the opportunity of celebrating everything that is good about the multi cultural society that we enjoy living in here in Medway."
Initiated by Medway Ethnic Minority Forum, this is only the second year such an event has been held outdoors and had something for everyone - from fairground rides to face painting, from African, Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Filipino food stalls to Domino’s Pizza, Calligraphy, African Drumming workshop and a Raffle drawn in the evening. As in the previous year's event, MEMF also ran an art workshop particularly for children with disabilities with volunteer artists from one of its newest members – the Lithuanian Association. For the first time, there was also a stall that incorporated artefacts from MEMF’s global family, displaying the rich and diverse cultural history of its members through the artefacts.
Many service providers like Medway Voluntary Action, Medway Youth Trust, Kent & Medway Partnership Trust, Rethink, Medway Adult Community Learning, Black History Trust, Positive Futures, Better Medway, Fostering team, Family Information Service, Kasbah to name a few, attended and all of them without exception mentioned what a great day they had had, enjoying the food, the variety of music and dance but also learning about the different cultures resident in Medway and engaging with them, providing information about their services to all those who attended.
The event was very well supported by the elected members of Medway Council, many of who attended on the day.
It was wonderful to see that people of all different cultures, backgrounds came to the event, sampled all that the event had to offer and enjoyed the day, together. People had travelled from all parts of Kent and even London to attend the event, making it a much bigger event this year.