The sun might not have been shining but the welcome was as warm as toast as friends and neighbours gathered in George Park for the Lozells Food and Faith festival, funded by Near Neighbours. Organiser, Pall Singh, was one of the first people I spoke to about Near Neighbours when I began this job in July and I was not surprised to receive a bid from him, on behalf of the Lozells Project, quite soon after the fund opened in the autumn. He was pipped to the post, however, by the Buddhists who have a temple just by the Hockey Flyover and were the first organisation to apply for Near Neighbours funding.
So on Saturday, not only did we see the fruit of Pall’s application, as local residents had the chance to meet representatives from their local faith communities and sample a wonderful range of tasty foods but also two of the strands of the Buddhist-based application were represented. Inspire, the music project, provided some of the entertainment on the stage while representatives of the Flour Project were selling the most delicious looking cupcakes.
By 1 pm the park was full of the sounds of fun and music as children enjoyed the fairground rides and bouncy castles and all enjoyed the food, on-stage entertainment and the chance to see the exhibitions on display by community groups and faith organisations. As Near Neighbours we were made really welcome by other exhbitors and appreciated the chance to speak about Near Neighbours on stage with the local faith leaders. So huge thanks to all involved with this fantastic day and huge thanks too to the two local residents who popped back to their house by the park to make us stallholders a cup of tea – much appreciated.