As well as our work developing support structures in religious community centres, there are a number of projects which are currently ongoing in an effort to build spaces in which individuals can speak openly and honestly without judgement, or to find calmness away from the difficulties around them.
These take the form of Taraki: Chai in the City and Calming Minds Café. Both initiatives are designed to try and build communal support structures, and encourage the redevelopment of empathetic and compassionate approaches to human relationships.
Working alongside a volunteer in central London, we have developed a monthly forum for Punjabi men to speak openly and honestly about any challenges/difficulties they may be experiencing. This is being done in an effort to provide a space in an otherwise hectic and perhaps isolating working environment. The workshops are led by two facilitators and they involve three components: a guest speaker, discussion of a certain topic, and then group discussions/networking. This event takes place in Central London on a monthly basis and aims to foster an inclusive and open environment where Punjabi men can feel able to discuss any issues or challenges they may be facing and receive appropriate signposting and information about support.
Further to this, The Calm Minds Café is a space to get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Working alongside Arun Kapur, a duty manager at the historic Lighthouse Cinema in Wolverhampton, Taraki have co-developed a monthly event where any member of the public can spend time at the cinema: chat, have a cup of tea, and play a board game. Feedback from participants indicated that they liked a calm and quiet space for discussion.
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