Update from the project
Hello all –
I have found myself recently explaining what we are busy doing at the moment during the pandemic and often to find it hard to explain it all concisely! After a slow start and getting our heads round new working practices and the furloughing of many colleagues at New Unity – we are now getting stuck in with this new online world of engagement.
Here are some of the things we are working on, some of these projects are in collaboration with other organisations and some of these deliverables were never intended outcomes of the project but due to the circumstances address a community need/provide a safe way of engagement at the moment. We thank our funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their support and flexibility in this difficult time.
- Working with Newington Green Alliance to deliver British Education System workshops to inform Turkish and Kurdish local parents and Mini Kardes Nursery staff about the education system in this country. These workshops via Zoom include information on how to apply for secondary schools, who to speak to if you think your child has SEN and ESL provision in the classroom. We are working on expanding this work with IMECE by offering the same workshops to their community. We plan to continue to offer these workshops to community groups in the future that would be interested.
- We have also worked with Newington Green Alliance and Mini Kardes to offer ‘tea and talk’ English language practice sessions weekly to their community of parents who would like the opportunity to practice their English skills online. We are also looking to expand this programme by using volunteers to deliver the sessions to other groups that may be interested in offering these to their communities.
- We are working on the online archive for the website. This archive of material has recently been catalogued and digitised by volunteers at Hackney archives and shortly we can add a small selection of this to our website so visitors to the website can see examples of the amazing things in our history!
- The building work will be complete in the next few weeks and we will finally have the Meeting House fully back in our possession. It is looking amazing and the next step is get all the furniture and equipment in place and install the new interpretation (signs/images and audio tour that will help visitors learn about the Meeting House).
- We are now working on plans for the re-opening of the Meeting House (for information about Sunday Gatherings or rentals please see the New Unity website) and we plan to have some small audience/online streaming hybrid events in August and September and then we hope to open to the public up to 4 days per week from October (with limited capacity and social distancing).
- We are hoping to have some events on Newington Green in lieu of not being able to host many people in the Meeting House so we can still share the history and stories of the area this summer.
- We have spent a lot of time on our education remit. Unfortunately we will not be hosting any school visits until 2021 – we had planned to invite school groups into the Meeting House after Easter. We had designed a programme of workshops entitled ‘Changing the World’ in collaboration with Benjamin Franklin House and Wesley’s House and the Museum of Methodism to showcase the social justice and change making shared history of all three sites. These resources are now available online for home-learning.
- We launched this week the ‘Get Crafty’ schools competition for secondary school students in Hackney and Islington; an art competition inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft and her time at Newington Green.
- We are slowly starting to host more online events; like our upcoming ‘working women: past and present’ panel event with amazing guest speakers from academia and activism today.
- Lots of behind the scenes working with newsletters/communications/social media planning/SEO work to get the word out far and wide about our work.
- Recruiting, inducting and supporting the work of some new fantastic digital volunteers helping with tea and talk sessions, research, social media and community projects
- Planning free online courses/seminars on topics such as Feminism(s), the History of protest and Black History that we can host on our platforms, delivered by activists, academics and organisations we work with and support.
- Planning events/resources and programmes in response to the death of George Floyd and the work of Black Lives Matter to ensure we use our resources, time and network to end structural racism in the UK today.