Causeway Chronicle

Successful Café Culture event helps residents learn more about each other’s cultures

Council’s Good Relations team have recently held a very successful Café Culture event in Coleraine Town Hall.

The event, organised as part of Good Relations week gave participants a chance to speak to people from different cultures who live in the Borough, while also learning more about the work that local community organisations do to assist newcomers.  

Attendees were treated to presentations from Gosia O’Hagan of Building Communities Resource Centre, Catherine Taylor from the Be Safe Be Well Men’s Shed in Portstewart, and Anna Nicholl of the Northern Trust.

Each speaker gave valuable insights into the work they have been doing to help those who are new to the area. They shared their experiences gained while developing key projects, giving an overview of how they have implemented these in order to support individuals and aid positive community integration.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan, who attended the event said: “It is vital to recognise the work that goes on throughout the year to help build relationships between the various groups from differing cultural backgrounds, who all call our Borough their home.   

“We are an increasingly diverse society, and it is in everyone’s interest that we get to know one another and learn more about different cultures.

“The Café Culture event provided an excellent opportunity for participants to gain a little more awareness, compassion and understanding of the many wonderful people that make up our community here in the Causeway Coast and Glens.

“I’d like to thank everyone who attended this event as we continue to make our Borough a place of Welcome for all.”

Good Relations Officer, Joy Wisener added: “This was an informal, café-style event designed to raise awareness of the various people who have come from other countries and now live in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.

“Those who attended had the chance to chat in small groups with people from different cultures who now live here. Our storytellers explained where they came from originally, how they ended up in Northern Ireland, how they have found life here, the challenges they face, and how they can make a positive contribution within our local communities.

“Participants were free to ask questions and it really was a very positive and moving exchange.”

Those who attended commented on how powerful and moving many of the people’s stories were and Council would like to thank everyone who came along on the day to help make this important event possible.  

If you are interested in attending any similar events in the future, please email goodrelations@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk to be added to our mailing list.

Participants at Council’s Good Relations Café Culture event chat to Mohamad and Diana about the situation in Syria that compelled them to leave their home.
The Mayor, Councillor Stephen Callaghan, and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Margaret-Anne McKillop, pictured with Storytellers, Council officers, and those who made presentations about their work at the Café Culture event. Included are Catherine Taylor from Be Safe Be Well Portstewart Men’s Shed, Gosia O’Hagan from BCRC, and Anna Nicholl, Senior Social Work Practitioner, Primary Care Multi-disciplinary Team, NHSCT.
Gosia, who started life in Poland, chats about her life there and here in Northern Ireland at the recent Café Culture event held in Coleraine Town Hall.

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle