This project was funded by the Active Citizens Fund administered by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
What is it and who is it for?
We developed the concept for Tastes of Wolverhampton using food as a medium to bring people together and encourage the development of new friendships; create a better understanding of the different cultures within the localities and in so doing build sustainable cohesion. We planned, developed, organised and ran three events across the city.
What we did
We invited local residents via Facebook, Twitter and posters in local venues like churches and community centres (in Whitmore Reans, All Saints and Blakenhall and Bilston) to prepare and bring a dish (to share with others from their local area) that represented their cultural background.
At all three events local people discussed the origins of the food they had brought with them to share, the memories the food evoked for them, and how their recipes had evolved to the dish they now cooked for them and their families.
The events provided opportunities for people living in localities to meet in a safe space, explore their respective cultures and gain a better understanding of each other with the potential of developing friendships and links to others in the community.
We also used the events to discuss how local communities could build stronger communities where people come together and help each other to improve their local areas and community safety within their areas.
Using a map of the world we asked attendees at all three events to identify, using a map pin, locations across the world that they identified with culturally and /or nationally. This provided a snapshot of the diversity of those taking part in the Tastes of sessions with many commenting on the global nature of the city of Wolverhampton.
The intention was to produce a community cookbook but some participants were reluctant to have their photos taken and shared, because of the histories of some of their journeys to Wolverhampton, and instead out of respect, we asked attendees to share their recipes with each other and exchange contact details if they so wished to continue discussions following the Taste of sessions.