South West Dorset Multicultural Network (SWDMCN)
The South West Dorset Multicultural Network welcomes members from all black and minority ethnic groups.
The network was formed in partnership with West Dorset District Council but operates under its own constitution. It is managed by a voluntary committee. The network is now a registered charity with an agreed set of objectives. (pdf, 117kb) (opens in a new window) .
The network produces a regular newsletter (pdf, 342kb) (opens in a new window) and arranges a number of social events during the year, including a multicultural celebration day each October. Opportunities are also provided throughout the year to discuss more serious issues. The network is represented on various strategic steering groups and committees in the area.
Holocaust Memorial Day 2014
The South West Dorset Multi Cultural Network will be hosting their 9th Holocaust Memorial Day (pdf, 82kb) (opens in a new window) (HMD) Event at the Corn Exchange, High West Street, Dorchester on Friday 24 January 2014 between 12.30pm - 1.30pm. This free event will be attended by local councillors, network members, local schools and local organisations.
All members of the local community are invited to join the commemoration.
The event includes art work and readings from local schools, and some short talks and music from network members.
The theme for HMD 2014 "Journeys" provides an opportunity to listen to and consider some of the experiences of those who experienced the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This will help us all to better understand the past and act as an inspiration for our current behaviour. The event will feature local resident Harry Grenville speaking movingly of his experience of coming to Britain as part of the Kindertransport.
Students from Thomas Hardye School will reflect on the impact of the genocide in Rwanda as 2014 is the twentieth anniversary of this atrocity. Sunninghill school will also be contributing to the event with a reading and bringing art work which has always in the past provided a profound reflection from the young people on the impact of the Holocaust. The event will conclude with a lighting of candles, and a minute's silence. Free refreshments will be served from noon.
Anne Marie Vincent, Chair of the network, said: "We are looking forward to our local community coming together to remember victims of the Holocaust and those whose lives have been affected by exclusion and hatred in subsequent genocides".
Dave Corbin - Equality and Diversity Manager for the Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust points out that: "The Holocaust Memorial Day event is an excellent and timely reminder of what can happen when good people do nothing".
Emma Scott, Community Development Officer at West Dorset District Council says, "We are pleased to support this important event particularly in such difficult times. This event is always very moving but also speaks of the fortitude and resilience and heroism of people too".
Black History Month 2013
This year, the focus for the Black History Month (pdf, 754kb) (opens in a new window) event was to celebrate the role played by some of our many inspirational black and minority ethnic role models. The event was held on Saturday the 12 October at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester from 6pm and was free to attend.
There was delicious Caribbean food on sale and a bar. The event welcomed people of all ages and a great mix of different generations attended.
The atmosphere was friendly and fun and feedback from those who came was extremely positive - one guest said: "I just wanted to express how much myself and my friend enjoyed Saturday night - it was so good - special thanks goes to the MCs for the fantastic music and the students from Weymouth College for the lovely food. I can't wait to attend the next one. It's a shame these events can be more frequent. They're so good".
To find out about what the SWDMCN are planning for next years Black History Month, do contact Emma Scott - details below.
South West Dorset Multicultural Network are pleased to thank West Dorset District Council, Dorchester Town Council, Magna Housing, the Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Weymouth College for supporting this unique community event.
Annual General Meeting 2013
The South West Dorset Multicultural Network held its AGM on 15 May. The speaker was Gabrielle Marks who gave a fascinating talk entitled "Go Back to Where You Came From - The Search for my Identity and What I Discovered".
Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2013
This years Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month Celebration (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window) took place on Friday the 31 May in Borough Gardens in Dorchester.
There was a traditional Gypsy caravan and lots of Gypsy artefacts on show and lots of activities to take part in - including willow weaving and peg making. There was live traditional music and story telling and also displays depicting traditional life on the road.
Next years event will be taking place in Borough Gardens again on the 30 May from noon-4pm. All welcome
This Is Our Home Too
The Dorset Race Equality Council launched their report 'This Is Our Home Too'. Commissioned by the SWDMCN, the report explores the problems BME residents living in West Dorset. It covers a range of topics including health, the police service, education, employment and housing and makes a number of recommendations based directly on people's experiences of living in Dorset.
You can download a copy of the This Is Our Home Too report (pdf, 534kb) (opens in a new window) or contact Emma Scott for a printed version.