Breaking Boundaries in Bradford with the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford
Breaking Boundaries is a three-year programme (2018 –2021) funded by Spirit of 2012, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and The Institute of Community Cohesion (Icoco).
It aims to socially connect young people, their families and communities together through regular cricket engagement, fostering mutual respect and friendships by playing, spectating and volunteering. It is being delivered in 5 cities; Bradford, Birmingham, London (Barking and Dagenham), Manchester and Slough.
We are getting to know the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford who have been working to support the local community in Bradford to build and develop more cohesive communities.
How did the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford get involved with Breaking Boundaries?
The Committee of the Society were working on various volunteering cricket and sports projects for a few reasons. Firstly, to engage the very young of the society and secondly, to encourage the 14-25 age group to volunteer to take part to become future leaders of the society, to foster the values of the temple and also to take part and learn from other faiths working with Bradford Council as part of the Faith Walk.
What activities have they organised so far?
The organisation began to work with Breaking Boundaries this year organising cricket-themed activities. A variety of committee members along with Community Champions attended the official launch then planned a gala day event to bring the communities together. Unfortunately, this was then impacted by Covid.
How did they deal with the pandemic?
The organisation worked with Community Champions by mentoring and planning courses for them to learn other skills and encouraged volunteering to support the community including packing up food boxes, delivering food and checking up on the elders of the society all supported by various committee members.
It's been a joy to see how various communities have worked together ensuring vulnerable members of the communities have been looked after and they see this a real positive way in engaging various community groups for the future.
Talking of the future what are they planning next?
The organisation will continue to engage the local community including offering virtual engagement and training sessions.
There has been an increased number of young people in the community wanting to volunteer so more will be done to support opportunities for voluteering.
In addition to this, there is a specific project for group work on ensuring South Asian females come together from different faiths and lead on hosting other cricket-themed events.
We also spoke to Hrithik Patel, 18, who volunteers on the Breaking Boundaries project with the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford
What attracted you to becoming a Community Champion?
Breaking Boundaries gave me the opportunity to foster links with different communities and partners in order to learn about how to make a difference with in my community.
What would you say are the best things you've learned through your training?
What has helped me most is the hands on experience of delivering sessions and learning skills through working with other staff and the Breaking Boundaries team.
How important is it for young people like yourself to be involved in the community and why?
In my opinion young people are tarred with a bad image in the media so it is imperative we allow young people, particularly from the South Asian community, to have the platform and change myths and stigma attached to them. Being from the Hindu Faith it is part of my belief to help people who may be less fortunate and don't have the start in life that I did, and help them to become good citizens and an example to their peers.
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