Once Strangers, Now Friends, Temple of Peace and Health, Cardiff January 28th 2017
Two hundred people attended our Once Strangers, Now Friends event, for a joyous celebration of all things FAN. We enjoyed stimulating conversation, interesting and short speeches, good food and the pleasure of knowing that you are part of a strong, friendly and growing community.
Generously supported by the Big Lottery, FAN brought its supporters, its participants and representatives of the organisations that support it together in a joyous event in the splendid central Cardiff setting. These photographs give a flavour of our time together.
FAN friends together enjoying the day
FAN Founder Gill said, “the groups are intended to allow people to meet in friendship, whatever their background or religion. Our meetings open with a declaration that we come to listen and talk about our daily lives, and that we believe different countries make the world a more interesting and exciting place.”
FAN trustee Ian, an Englishman living in Cardiff regularly attends 2 weekly groups said many people are fearful of aspects of globalisation, and at a very local level FAN can do a lot to break down barriers and fears and to build a sense of community.
Great to have supportive friends share in our celebration including Communities First, the Mentor Ring and the Somali Integration Society
Many friends have been with FAN since the very beginning in 2003
Friends from Barry FAN
Naryman from Sudan told us “From the first day I started I loved the FAN group. It’s so useful – I’ve learned a lot. My family is not here so I didn’t have a lot of people to chat to, and the FAN group gives me a chance every week to show what our culture means.”
Sarah and Zahra friends together
Sally, Huda and family
Nuha from Saudi Arabia told us that she had been attending FAN groups for three years. “They are my family now.”
Our celebration gave friends from different FAN groups the chance to meet up
Richard, Lilian and Zahra
Sarah welcoming everyone to our Celebration
Friends from organisations supporting FAN enjoying the celebration
Julie, Kevin, Amy and Paul enjoying the celebration.
Judith, Michael and Debbie
FAN friends together
Chris, Jane and Tessa, fan making
Friends from Bridgend FAN
Deep in conversation!
Gamal and Family
Where do FAN friends come from? FAN countries…
Our beautiful FAN banner
Althea, Noah and Sarah
Our speakers Zahra, Ian, Naryman, Nuha, Carol, Sara and Gill shared what coming to FAN meant to them.
Once Strangers, Now Friends – the crowd listening to our speakers