Banging the drum for celebrating Hartlepool's cultural diversity with new community group

Hartlepool’s multicultural community was celebrated as a new town group held a week of events including visiting schools.

By Mark Payne
Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 3:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 3:28 pm
St Joseph's Primary School pupils dressed in clothes from their different heritages for the visit by Transformers HPL to celebrate different cultures in Hartlepool.

Transformers HPL aims to bring people from different ethnic minority backgrounds and the wider community together.

Leaders held a week of community events including drop-in workshops, a church service and exhibition showcasing African crafts, dance and music.

They also engaged with young people by visiting Dyke House Academy where students asked lots of questions and St Joseph’s Primary School which has a high percentage of children from different ethnic backgrounds.

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St Joseph's Primary School pupils join in an African drumming session with visitors from Transformers HPL.

At St Joseph’s, pupils loved having a go on African drums, while several wore clothes traditional to their heritage.

Headteacher Rachel Williams said: “Every single child was engaged the whole day and the people who led it were superb.

“The children have got so much respect for each other and it’s important they learn about different cultures.

"We saw this as a perfect opportunity.”

Transformers HPL members and people from the local community joined in a litter pick at Owton Manor.

An exhibition of the week’s events held at the Living Waters Church, in King Oswy, on Saturday was supported by people from voluntary sector organisations, neighbourhood police and was opened by council leader Councillor Shane Moore.

Nomusa, who hails from Zimbabwe and has lived in Hartlepool for 16 years, said: "He said he was very pleased with what we are doing.

“The exhibition finished with everyone singing along and dancing to One Love by Bob Marley.

A policeman joins in with some African dancing at Saturday's exhibition.

“The atmosphere in the room was just so nice.”

Earlier, the group removed piles of rubbish from Owton Manor in a litter pick with some residents also joining in.

The week ended with a church service at Living Waters on Sunday followed by a buffet of dishes from Zimbabwe, Ghana, Trinidad which was a big hit with guests.

The group is gathering feedback from the various activities to help decide future events and is speaking with potential funders who have expressed an interest.

They plan to enter an African themed float in next year’s Hartlepool Carnival.

Georgina said: “I’m very pleased, it was an educative week. Hopefully, it is the start of big things to try to integrate the community and bring it together through education but also having fun.”

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