Swapping Cream Teas and Cricket for Footie and Fried Rice to improve ethnic relations in Plymouth
A pilot project in Plymouth aims to unify communities from different cultural backgrounds by sharing recipes, sport and life experiences.
Food hampers and sports sets have been delivered across the city as part of the Unifying Plymouth initiative.
Nigerian meal kits have been given to 25, mainly white, British families. They contain all the ingredients needed to make Nigerian Fried Rice, a recipe card and a magazine about Nigeria’s national sport, football.
The families were also given a link to a video made by two Nigerian women living in Plymouth about their lives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhuCdWK7CqA
In return, hampers containing the ingredients to make a traditional Devon Cream Tea have been given to 25 migrant families along with a recipe card. They have also been given a guide to cricket and a cricket set.
Unifying Plymouth is being run by Transforming Plymouth Together, Plymouth Hope, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth Octopus Project, the RAS network, DBI and Plymouth City Council.
In 2017/18, there was a 21% increase in hate crime in Plymouth*.
A previous analysis of hate crime offences in the city showed that 75% were catagorised as racism, with the majority involving abuse, threats, harassment or violence.*
In 2018, the Plymouth City Survey found that just 39% of respondents agreed that their local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together.
Hannah Fleming-Hill, a Project Support Development Worker at Transforming Plymouth Together, said: “We got involved with this pilot project because we want to bring all communities in Plymouth together.
“We also noticed that among the churches we work with to run the school holiday Feast of Fun events, there’s not a massive diversity in ethnicity.”
“If this works we can try and introduce other cultures and nationalities.”
Dwain Morgan, Assistant Community Manager for Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, said, “Argyle Community Trust are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and educational project.
“To be involved in this collaboration that helps local communities learn about culture through the sharing of food, sport, faith and a whole host of other things is extremely rewarding.”
Chris Forster, the Transforming Plymouth Together project manager, said, “There is lots of talk about how to improve ethnic diversity in Plymouth.
“We thought it was time to stop talking about it and just do something.”
He said the reaction of families who had received hampers so far was a mix of surprised, shocked, excited and grateful.
He said some of the British families had loved trying the Nigerian recipe.
The Unifying Plymouth team hope this is just the beginning of the project and are planning to develop it further.
Hannah Fleming-Hill said “If this pilot is successful, we’re hoping to reach hundreds of families in different ways.
“Plymouth is so diverse, with so many different ethnic groups, you could you go on forever.”
For more information and interviews please contact: Chloe Axford, Communications Director at the Diocese of Exeter, 01392 294905, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Figures from the Plymouth Report 2019 https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/publichealth/factsandfiguresjointstrategicneedsassessment/plymouthreport
Transforming Plymouth Together https://transformingplymouthtogether.org.uk/
Plymouth Hope https://www.plymouthhope.com/
Plymouth Argyle Community Trust https://argylecommunitytrust.co.uk/
Diversity Business Incubator http://dbi.org.uk/