Following the success of last year’s small Eid Celebration at Essex Close, we were approached by other estates asking if we could deliver similar events there also. Aston’s Social Value Manager Rachel Statter arranged three larger Eid events in different areas of the borough to try and reach as many residents as possible.
The first of these events was held at Priory Court Community Centre in E17 in partnership with Morgan Sindall and the Community Centre. We created publicity posters that centres hand delivered it to each resident on the estate.
The Eid celebration was a huge success with over 75 residents attending. Both the Community Centre Manager and one of The William Morris Big Local team commented that the majority of residents attending were those they had never engaged with before, and were astounded by the turn out. They were delighted that they were able to promote the other services they provided to residents who might otherwise be unaware that support and fun activities were available to them.
We also invited Sonia from Coping Through Football, a NELFT transformation mental health recovery project, to whom Rachel regularly delivers employability support. Whilst adults have to be referred by their GPs and mental health professionals, Sonia was able to promote their youth programme to the families attending, as they can self-refer, allowing our younger residents who might suffer from discrimination at school, or have additional issues, the opportunity to take part in an inclusive and supportive environment.
The event included a selection of Eid themed arts and crafts, an Eid photo stand with props, Eid cake and biscuit decoration and a Henna artist. A local Muslim caterer was hired to produce delicious biryani, pakoras and samosas, with fresh fruit salad and assorted goodies and refreshments on offer. We had so many people attend that we had to keep adding tables and chair to allow people to eat and socialise, and the music had people up, dancing and singing along. It was so popular that we were still turning people away as we were packing up!
Aadam Khan was the sweet shop manager on the day, handing out bags of halal sweets and chocolates, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed!