Our Ealing-based service Marron House held a Black History Month celebration on Monday 11th October. It was a low-key affair with very few external guests but was nonetheless important and impactful.
There were displays on the notice boards with articles on inspirational figures from the black community, chatter and food and much sharing amongst everyone.
The participants discussed the theme, ‘Proud to Be’ by explaining what they felt proud about.
One of the guests was TJ, a recovery worker from the Churchfield and Cherington service. For him Black History Month means a chance for others to be reminded of the contributions that black people have made to Britain. With regards to the theme, he said: “I am proud to be part of a rich culture whose people excel in all areas. I’m proud to be Zimbabwean!”
Kavita Bhopal is the deputy manager at Marron House and was instrumental in arranging the celebration. She is a member of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion ambassador group and felt that it was important for Black History Month to be acknowledged and celebrated.
She said: “Celebrating Black History Month is important to me as I feel it allows us all to come together and pay tribute and honour and remember key legends who helped towards making vital changes and how the work continues today. It also allows us all to actively take part in self-education and building further knowledge and awareness to help build a world with less hate and more love and acceptance.”
Brent services celebrated Black History Month at the Mall on Thursday 14th October with a lunch. This was preceded by discussions on Black History Month, its origins and history in the UK. Also recognising the contribution and achievements of those Black individuals who are significant around the world such as, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, James Brown, Carter G. Woodson.
Black celebrities with mental health issues such as Kanye West were discussed to encourage Service Users that they too can live full lives. They were reminded that having mental health issues should not stop them from achieving anything if they are motivated. They were encouraged to try to make contributions to the community. It could be as simple as serving teas or taking on a voluntary job.
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