Bridgwater Together is an annual event celebrating the town’s vibrant cultural diversity through music, food, storytelling, dance, film and information sharing. Supported by Somerset Diverse Communities (part of Community Council for Somerset), the event normally takes place in October but in light of the coronavirus outbreak, the organisers decided to put on an additional digital event in April to bring people together
Michal Puzynski, Community Engagement Worker, told us more about how they are using funding from the Hinkley Point C Community Fund*, a grants programme managed by Somerset Community Foundation, in new and innovative ways to ensure communities are still able to connect - even when they can’t be together.
“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, many concerts, festivals and other events that bring people together have been cancelled or rescheduled. However, the technology is available to us, and so we wanted to put on something extra. We’re doing our best to adapt our activities to the current situation, and the internet provides us with unique opportunities to continue our work - despite the pandemic - making it possible for us to continue to showcase some of the rich cultural diversity in Bridgwater and beyond.
A lot of people are hungry for events and more and more live entertainment is cropping up online. The virtual Bridgwater Together event supports the integration of newcomers to the area and local people watching will be able to see people they know and places they recognise from around the town. Anyone interested in celebrating multi-culture will enjoy our programme of live events which include live music from Mariusz from Poland and a cultural quiz featuring questions about other cultures, traditions as well as local history and geography.
We’ve been able to pull this whole thing together with the support of Somerset Film, Hidden Voices, Diversity Voice, Bridgwater Town Council and the unions TUC and UNITE, as well as a £169,876 grant over three years from the HPC Community Fund, for which we are very grateful.
We are aiming to minimise the impact of coronavirus on people’s mental health by bringing people together to reduce the feelings of isolation that many are struggling with right now. The grant has enabled us to adapt our work to the current situation so that we have been able to do that.”
On Saturday 18 April 2020, 6pm - 8pm, people will be able to attend the event online, via Zoom, where they can enjoy presentations and performances from representatives of minority communities living in Bridgwater. If you would like to find out more or need support downloading the software, please contact Michal on firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Hinkley Point C Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.