Christian Allard is originally from France, he became involved in his daughters’ secondary school Parent Council simply because he wanted to offer the school his support. Involvement in the Parent Council led to involvement in the Community Council, getting involved in the development of the Curriculum for Excellence and eventually to Christian becoming a member of the Scottish Parliament. Hear Christian talking about the impact getting involved in the Parent Council made on him
One of the brilliant things that’s come out of Gathered Together’s work has been the opportunity to build relations with groups. In Falkirk we ran training for community champions (http://gatheredtogether.bemis.org.uk/?p=330) which Megan Farr from Falkirk Council was also able to attend. This helps to build links between the council and one of the groups our community champion Sofia was running. From that meeting they are now working together to start going out to school to visit primary school classes to speak about Islam.
We have also been able to help some of the community groups we are working with to get the support to develop as organisations as well as apply for the Multi-Cultural Homecoming fund http://bemis.org.uk/project/multicultural-homecoming-2014/. It is great to be able to help groups like the International Women’s group and Rainbow Muslim Women’s group to do more and build relations.
In our videos we’ve also been able to showcase and celebrate good practice- there are so many schools and Parent Councils who do a wonderful job and have developed a real ethos of working with families. We’ve tried to make sure we promote good practice as widely as possible so that they get the recognition they deserve.
And finally through our steering group we’ve been able to open up opportunities to work with Skills Development Scotland to promote their website for parents http://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/section/parents-and-carers to parents from ethnic minorities, help communication between local authorities on how to engage parents and start conversations on how the diverse members of the group can work together.
We’ve got lots of partnership work planned for the new year, including with Education Scotland and Bilingualism Matters- these are exciting times!
Early in 2014 Holyrood magazine ran an article on the Gathered Together project, including an interview with BEMIS’ chief executive Rami Ousta. To read the full article just click on this link Holyrood Magazine
Don McPherson- Head Teacher Denny Primary School
We had an exciting meeting with George Muir, lecturer at the City of Glasgow College’s Television Department- exploring the possibility of getting a film crew of students to try and make a short film about Gathered Together and the work we’ve been doing. While our intern, Maryam Karim, has been doing a great job filming and editing interviews with the people we work for she is working with a pretty basic camera and the college students will have professional equipment to make sure that we have a very professional film.
We want this film to act as an introduction to the project- why we were started, what we’ve managed to achieve and what our hopes for the future are. George advised us the film should only be about seven minutes long and we now have to work out what should go into it- there are just so many great stories that we want to tell!