Report of the Jameah Islamiyah Event - Rotherfield Village Hall Saturday 14 July 2007

The Wealden District Community Network in partnership with the Jameah Islamiyah organisation held an event on Saturday 14 July 2007 from 1 - 4 pm at Rotherfield Village Hall, North Street, Rotherfield.

There were three main aims to this event.  They were:- 

The main objectives of this event were:-

The Event at a Glance  

Jameah event

Jameah event

MP Charles Hendry and Tariq Jung (Brighton &
Hove Muslim Forum) Opening the Event

 

Jameah event

One of the Displays of the Jameah Islamiyah
Organisation

Planning of the Event
Wealden District Community Network worked in full partnership with representatives of the Jameah Islamiyah organisation in the planning of this event and in deciding its aims and objectives.  It took eighteen months to pull this event off and in spite of continuing obstacles standing in the way
and having to cancel the event twice (September 2006; April 2007) it finally happened after thirteen planning meetings between members of Jameah and Wealden ComNet.

Outcome
This event was a success with positive outcomes coming out of it, particularly for the benefit of the Jameah Islamiyah organisation, who consequently made wider links with other organisations and with the community at large.  Throughout the afternoon, between 120 – 130 people came to the event, which included local residents, delegates holding displays, Parish and District Counsillors and the local M.P.  MP Charles Hendry emphasized the importance and value of the event and said, ‘too often I feel that mistrust develops simply through a lack of understanding.  What we are trying to do today is break that down’.

There were a few issues that were raised from a few members of the BME community who attended.  One of which was the development of an ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages) class (that ACRES have picked up and will be starting in September 2007 at Beacon Community College) and another was a general welfare issue that Sompriti would have been able to address.  It was unfortunate that Sompriti could not be represented because of staff shortages, as they would have been a real asset.

Feedback Analysis from Display Holders
Feedback from the event was positive with the majority of people saying the event was valuable in terms of networking and making links. The Jameah Islamiyah organisation said the event had opened up many doors for their organisation and that they had made several contacts with other organisations.  They were very pleased with local response, however were disappointed with BME attendance (around 30) in spite of wide publicity, for example, on the radio, publicised locally in Rotherfield in all the central points, announcements in the mosque, sending personal invites to members of different Muslim communities in the area and publicising the event further a field in Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill.  However, as with so many events it is always difficult to involve members of the public.     

Other displays promoting their services were:-  Care For the Carers, Islamic Relief, Southeast Interpreting, Wealden Community Network, Wealden Senior Citizen’s Partnership, Age Concern East Sussex, Rotherfield St Martins, Social Care Direct, ESCC Black & Minority Ethnic Engagement Project, Acres, Wealden Citizen’s Advice, INSS (Integration, Access and Advice), Home Start, Rotherfield & Marks Cross Church, All Saints,  Fire & Rescue Service and Sussex Police.

Concluding Remarks
This event achieved most of its aims and proved valuable in terms of networking, making links and exchanging information, however, primarily it was an event that opened up avenues for the Jameah Islamiyah organisation and brought different sections of the community together. 

Contributions to the event were made by Charles Hendry MP, Tariq Jung (Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum) and East Sussex County Council, who funded the event through the ESCC Community Partnership grant and also funded the Henna Artist.  ACRES have also contributed by having a large input in starting up a sewing course at Beacon Community College, aimed at some women from the BME communities in Crowborough.                   Wealden District Community Network