17th October, 2011
We want to say a big 'thank-you' to Esmee Fairbairn for giving us a grant to help spread FAN Groups. We are all delighted and have been working on plans to use this grant wisely and to further the development of FAN Groups.
We are going to use the money to see if FAN Groups could be a success in London. Some FAN Group friends have gone to London very sad that they were leaving their FAN Group behind and wanting to know if we had FAN Groups in London. Please contact us if you are in London and interested in helping us set up a FAN Group there.
15th October, 2011
We have all been so busy we haven't even had time for news! Lots of us went to support Amy when she ran her fund raising evening for a school in Nepal in September 2011. The evening was great fun and lots of us FAN friends went. Amy had organised it superbly and raised £1,000 I understand. Well done to you and your friends Amy - we look forward to hearing about the school. Amy went on a visit to Nepal during her holidays when she worked with us as FAN Development Officer and since leaving us to work with the BBC she has worked hard to help the people in Nepal who gave her such a welcome when she lived with them and helped in their school.
28th December, 2010
Hi everyone, We have had a lovely email from Jason. He has met someone he cares for and is getting married! All his friends in Saturday FAN will want us to wish him well. He's even invited one or two FAN friends to his wedding! Hope you've all had a very good holiday. Now for the New Year! An exciting new start for each of us we hope. BEST WISHES to all FAN attenders.
22nd December, 2010
Thanks to all FAN Charity Trustees for their invaluable advice, help and support in 2010. The strength of a charity is always in its supporters, and you are the best. Best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Sue
24th November, 2010
We are pleased Jenny Randerson and Jenny Willots have joined the FAN Charity on FACEBOOK. Representatives of different political parties are welcome if they share our concern that we are glad to listen and welcome people of all cultures, faiths and different beliefs if they come in a spirit of friendship. We are delighted that so many representative of the people of the United Kingdom have come to FAN Meetings and supported FAN. Those joining us in FAN Meetings include representatives and candidates of all the main parties - Kevin Brennan, Neil McEvoy, Alun Michael, David Melding, Julie Morgan, Jenny Randerson, Karen Robson, Jenny Willots. Thanks to all - and come again - it is a great way to meet those you represent - just as one of us!
7th November, 2010
Llanelli Multicultural network has helped us to start a FACEBOOK Page. If you read this and you are on facebook and you care about friendship between all people - do become a friend! We were delighted to have the first political representative join us - Jennie Randerson! FAN embraces all people who want to make a better world and are willing to show respect and friendliness to people of all backgrounds and faiths. We have had political representatives of all parties coming to FAN and leaders of many faiths. All are welcome. Here is the link to the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/home.
16th August, 2010
We were delighted to be asked if we would like to help SIS with a short course for those unemployed - on Self Management.
The course was felt to be such a success that we continued a JOB CLUB for 6 weeks after the course. We ran it before the Wednesday FAN Meeting at the Salvation Army Building in Grangetown, Cardiff.
Wednesday FAN was happy to help and made the subjects of the FAN Meeting relevant to those seeking work. We are delighted that so many people originally on the course have found work.
3rd August, 2010
The FAN (Friends and Neighbours) Group held its first meeting in the county on Wednesday 28th July in Lakefield Hall, Llanelli. The new Llanelli FAN Group was set up in collaboration with the Llanelli Multicultural network (LMCN).
The first FAN Group was founded in 2003 in Cardiff and aims to bring together friends and neighbours for an hour a week over a cup of tea or coffee. The FAN Charity has been cited as an example of good practice by Welsh Assembly members with a special interest in social cohesion. The new LMCN Fan Group welcomes people from all ethnic backgrounds and any age. It's a great way to meet new friends.
Project worker, Paolo Piana said ''We were so proud to host this first meeting in Carmarthenshire, and look forward to welcoming more people to this friendly group.''
For more details of future meetings please call LMCN Project workers Laura Hancock on 01554 785954 or Paolo Piana on 01554 785952
1st August, 2010
You don't have to miss out on FAN meetings during August, the following groups are running:
Mondays & Wednesdays : FAN at IKEA, Cardiff 10.30-11.30 (some are meeting at 10 am for 99p breakfast first!)
Wednesdays: Llanelli FAN at Lakefield Hall at 10.30-11.30am (see below for contact details). Wednesdays : Leicester FAN at Quaker Meeting House at 10.30-11.30am. Wednesday evening : FAN at the Oxfam Bookshop, Swansea at 7pm on 4th August. Wednesday evening : FAN at the Shop, Christmas Steps, Bristol at 6pm on 11th August.
Thursdays : St Mellons FAN, Cardiff 1 - 2pm.
Fridays : Newport FAN at The Share Centre 12 - 1pm.
PLEASE GO TO MEETING FINDER TO CHECK DETAILS
29th July, 2010
Great news!! Llanelli's first weekly FAN Group is starting on Wednesday 28th July from 10.30-11.30am at Lakefield Hall, Lakefield Road, Llanelli SA15 1UH.
Please come along and support this new group if you can. For more details, please contact the Group Rep (Laura Hancock of LWCN) on: 01554 778601
7th July, 2010
Great news, we are hoping to announce the start of a FAN Group in Llanelli shortly - watch this space!6/7/10
10th June, 2010
Communities First Ely and Caerau are hosting a FAN meeting in their tent on the Festival field opposite Western Leisure Centre at 1pm. Community Worker Hazel will be very pleased to welcome all visitors.
9th June, 2010
FAN now has a second group starting in Swansea on the 14th July at the Oxfam Bookshop, Castle Street at 7pm. You don't have to be a bookworm, music buff, or "arty" type to come along and have a great time (!) - all will be made very welcome by Phil (Manager). Full details are on the Meeting Finder page.
21st May, 2010
MAY 2010. Here we are in May. We have been visiting outside groups! Swansea FAN Group had a very interesting meeting last week. We all talked about - what we would do if there were no barriers in the way! It was a lovely day to go to Swansea and it is such a lovely town. Many who visit the Swansea FAN walk 10 minutes across the road to the lovely beach on the sea front. Ebbw Vale FAN is also a fun trip! On Monday 10th May they came to the IKEA FAN Group and everyone enjoyed breakfast first and the FAN Meeting afterwards! We had reports that Leicester FAN Groups have started. We hope they will grow and be a real resource to the community. A once monthly FAN Meeting started in Bristol this week. We heard from one of our FAN Group Reps who went along - that it was a successful first meeting - so good luck to them!
21st May, 2010
The year seems to have been racing through for FAN. We have become an incorporated charitable company. We were advised to do this as FAN is employing a Development Officer. The new company is called 'The FAN Charity'. The new company's main job is to let people know about how a FAN Meeting works. THE SUCCESS OF FAN MEETINGS SEEMS TO BE PARTLY ABOUT EVERYONE LISTENING QUIETLY WHEN SOMEONE SPEAKS. NO_ONE ELSE SPEAKS OR ANSWERS. THE TIME TO SPEAK IS AFTER THE MEETING IF IT IS NOT YOUR TURN. THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT. Don't even answer questiosn. Someone can just say - we can talkabout that afterwards.
7th April, 2010
Amy has now left post to pursue new work doing editing with the BBC. We will all be sorry to say good-bye to Amy and the Trustees in particular wish to thank her for her help in the last eighteen months with the FAN Charity - as we have moved forward at a pace. we have every confidence that Amy will pursue a successful career in whatever area of work she finally chooses.
Amy is well liked and everyone wishes her every success in the future and hopes she will come back to see us.
This is life of course and while we feel sad to say goodbye it is a happier occasion as she is doing work that interests her.
In her place Sue comes to help us as the new FAN Development Officer at this very busy time. Whilst Sue's main job is to get information out to people wanting to start Groups outside Cardiff - she hopes at least once a week to visit a Cardiff Group - so look out for her and I am sure you'll give her FAN's usual warm welcome.
25th February, 2010
As FAN is moving forward so quickly we needed immediate cover for Amy leaving and a loyal FAN attender from early FAN days - Sue Northover has agreed to take an initial short-term contract to August 31st. Lots of people know and love Sue and we all wish her well. Sue will be starting in April.
25th February, 2010
We were delighted to welcome Maggie to Cardiff this week. She travelled down from Wrexham to visit a couple of FAN Groups as she works in the Peace and Justice Centre in Wrexham and is hoping to start a FAN Meeting there soon. It was a pleasure to have Maggie with us and she made a great extra to have in our meetings.
Some of us are looking forward to going up and visiting the Wrexham FAN Group when it gets started! Watch this space...!
If you live in Wrexham and would be interested in attending a group, please contact 07880 630 553 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
25th February, 2010
The Newport FAN Group started in August 2009 and now has more than 15 members who attend the group on a regular basis. The group meets every Friday 12noon - 1pm at The SHARE Centre, Stow Hill.
Patrick Sullivan, who has been attending the group since September said 'I have personally found the group a real eye opener as I have learned so much about other cultures and countries. After all, where else would you meet a Tibetan Monk, the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Newport West and an ex-Probation Officer all in one day!'
Kath Jones, who has been attending since the group started said 'I find the group interesting, its somewhere for me to go; otherwise I would just be stuck in the house. I look forward to coming to the group every week and it has also improved my confidence.'
Would you like to attend the Newport Group? You would be very welcome! Please contact 07880 630 553 if you would like more information about the meeting.
25th February, 2010
Last November, Gill, Zahra, Nick, Omar and Amy went to meet with supporters of Swansea City Of Sanctuary to give a presentation about The FAN Groups. The Swansea City of Sanctuary is a movement by local people to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in Swansea. Swansea is working to gain 'City of Sanctuary' status by encouraging local organisations to get involved to support and welcome people seeking sanctuary. The City of Sanctuary viewed FAN as a great idea for their supporters to help bring people together in friendship in Swansea.
The first FAN Group meeting in Swansea took place on Tuesday 2nd February. The first meeting was well attended with 15 attendees. We hope the group is a great success.
The St Helen's/Page Street FAN Group will meet every Tuesday between 10am - 11.15am at the Swansea Quaker Meeting House. If you would like to attend the meeting please contact 07880 630 553.
The FAN Charity has received offers of free weekly rooms at various libraries in and around Swansea for FAN Meetings to be held. The Oxfam Bookshop in Swansea has also offered a free weekly room for an evening FAN meeting to be held. Would you be interested in running a FAN Group? If so, please contact 07880 630 553.
25th February, 2010
Two FAN Groups have started in Ebbw Vale and are at fledgling stage. Some Cardiff FAN members have enjoyed meeting new friends in Ebbw Vale and receiving a warm welcome. If you live in or near Ebbw Vale do come! Just try a FAN Meeting for a couple of weeks and see if you like it.
If you are already in a FAN group in Newport, Cardiff or Swansea - we would welcome a visit if you fancy a trip to Ebbw Vale. Please check the FAN Meetings page on the website for day and times or call 07880 630 553.
25th February, 2010
To everyone involved in The FAN Groups,
I am very sad to say that I will be leaving the post of FAN Development Officer on Friday 12th March. I have really enjoyed my time with The FAN Charity and learned so much about working in community and charity. I am very grateful for all the support I have received from the FAN Trustees, FAN Members, FAN Group Reps and attendees of FAN Meetings. It has been a pleasure working with you all so thank you very much for all your help.
I hope FAN Groups continue to grow and hope new groups open in Cardiff, across Wales and in different areas of the U.K!
I will miss attending groups but I hope to keep in touch, occasionally visit groups and stay involved with The FAN Charity.
25th February, 2010
We are delighted to have received a grant from Tudor Trust to enable us to have a part-time FAN Development Officer for the next two years, from 2010-12 The role of Development Officer has become ever more important as FAN groups spread and more people across Wales and the UK want to know about FAN.
We are thrilled to have the grant and very thankful that it ensures we can keep growing in the coming two years. Nevertheless, we will need to expand the job still further and we will soon be looking for further funding. We will see if we can find some kindly funders who may consider helping us with specific projects.
Particular thanks to Nick, our Trustee in charge of grant applications.
25th February, 2010
Before Christmas 2009, Gill, Nick, Zahra and I travelled to North Wales to meet with people who had contacted The FAN Charity, expressing an interest in setting up a FAN Group in their area. During our Northern adventures, we also aimed to generate interest in FAN Groups by publicising FAN across the various towns.
The 'FAN Tour' started in Wrexham where we met with one or two people interested in setting up a FAN Group in the area and to attend the official launch of 'The All Wales Community Cohesion Strategy' attended by Dr Brian Gibbons (former Minister for Social Justice and Local Government.) The FAN Charity has welcomed the strategy's inclusion of information about FAN's work in the community. The document has given the charity much credibility and publicity across Wales so we were very pleased to accept an invitation to attend the event. Helped by the presence of a FAN Information Stand and Display, the event helped us spread information about FAN and network with various Community Groups and Community Workers from Wrexham. We hope our time spent in Wrexham oiled the wheels for the start of the Wrexham FAN Group!
Our next visit was to Rhyl, where we attended a coffee morning at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church organised by the West Rhyl Community Company. The group meet every Friday and chat over a hot drink and a biscuit. We were very grateful that the organisers of the group allowed us to show the FAN Meeting DVD and give a demonstration of a FAN meeting, with everyone from the group joining in the meeting. The meeting topic was 'music' and we learned much about each other in a short space of time, with many of us sharing common music tastes! Everyone enjoyed the meeting and there was interest at the group about hosting a FAN Meeting in Rhyl sometime in the future.
Our next stop was Llandudno to visit the 'Ty Hapus' Community Centre. The centre organises various activities for the communities of Tudno and Mostyn. The Director of Ty Hapus, Bob Wilding, has made previous enquiries about The FAN Groups and is interested in running a group himself at the centre. During our visit of the centre we joined a Christmas party and recorded a radio interview for Tudno FM, Llandudno's community radio based at the Ty Hapus Centre. During the interview we were asked about FAN Groups in Cardiff and our hopes for FAN Groups spread to North Wales. We were very grateful to the warm welcome from the friendly staff and wish the Ty Hapus Centre much success in the future.
Since our 'FAN Goes North Tour' we have received many enquiries from the towns we visited.
We would like to give a very special thank you Nick for his help and hard work during the trip to North Wales. We would also like to give a special thank you to Zahra for all help, pleasant nature and for all the refreshments she prepared for the trip!
25th February, 2010
It was lights, camera, action for 14 FAN Attendees last July when we filmed a FAN Meeting! With the help of ITV Cameraman Garan Thomas and Camera Assistant Tim Hole, a short meeting was filmed which was to be edited into a short film and used for promotional purposes.
We were very sorry that not everyone could be in the film but we had to keep the meeting short for editing purposes.
The film has already been shown at various public meetings and has helped those interested in setting up a FAN Group learn the meeting structure. The short film has had over 200 views on ‘You Tube’ and FAN is receiving many requests for DVDs.
A very special thank you to Garan Thomas, Tim Hole, Nick Jewson and Mwnci Editing Facilities for their help with the production of the DVD.
We would also like to thank the ‘FAN Filmstars’ who feature in the video – Martyn, Julian and Michelle, David C, Zahra, Ricardo, Rhian, Christine, Gill, Janet, Rubina, Halima, Sylvia and Suren.
20th August, 2009
The Oxford Muse Conversation Dinner at Ikea Wales was a wonderful success, with nearly 80 people attending who attend FAN Groups or have supported the FAN Charity. Hosted by the Oxford Muse, their Conversation Dinners are arranged so that strangers come together to discuss a range of topics from a ‘Menu of Conversation,’ which encourages reflection on different aspects of life.
We talked about life, love and the world we live in... The event sought to create new kinds of conversation between individuals of different generations, backgrounds and cultures and faiths. This fitted perfectly with the aims of ‘The FAN Charity’ because we want ‘FAN Groups in villages and towns of every country so that any stranger can find the nearest group and be sure of meeting a friendly face'.
The rule of the evening was that everyone had to sit next to someone they had not met before. At first, we thought this maybe difficult, as many people from FAN Groups know each other. As we took our seats for the dinner, we realised that there are many people who attend various FAN Groups who had never met each other before.
Rarely too, do we have the luxury of time, for an in depth conversation where we can listen to each other for such a long time. It was wonderful for FAN friends to meet in this way and for us all to see how many people support a FAN Group in different areas of Cardiff, and FAN friendship is widening all the time.
So many of us really enjoyed the event and we want to thank the Oxford Muse for hosting this event and for their generosity. We also want to thank Dr. Tim Wharton and Laura Evans for inviting us and welcoming us to this very special event. We hope to continue to support their various community ventures at IKEA...
FAN attendee and Sociologist Nick Jewson commented on the event: ‘The way we live today so often undermines old-established relationships of community, workplace, family, neighbourhood and kinship. We need new kinds of social contexts, like FAN and Muse, where we can forge fresh networks of friendship, support and care.’... For more information about the Oxford Muse Charity and the Conversation Dinners, please visit Oxford Muse.
7th April, 2009
Following on the success of last year’s grant The FAN Charity is pleased that further funding has been awarded to the charity from the Millennium Stadium Trust Fund. The grant award will help encourage FAN Meetings to flourish across Wales, so strengthening community links and social inclusion across many areas, continuing the project started with Oxfam’s help.
With the invaluable help of sociologist and FAN Attendee Nick Jewson, Gill and Amy applied to the Trust in late 2008 and received the good news in March 2009.
The Millennium Stadium Trust aims to ‘improve the quality of life of people who live and work in Wales’ and ‘tackle social, personal, economic or cultural barriers within their own communities’ through awarding grants to community groups who share the trust’s aims.
The cheque was presented to JingJing from Saturday Cardiff City Centre FAN Group by Tom Jones O.B.E., Chairman of the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust.
Following the presentation Tom Jones commented “I was delighted to meet with members of the FAN Charity and to learn more about the work being carried out by this relatively new organisation. This is an excellent example of how the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust is helping to improve the lives of people living and working in Wales. I wish them every success in extending the benefits of their organisation to other regions of Wales.”
23rd September, 2009
We were pleased when we were asked if Brian Gibbons, The Government Minister for Social Justice and Local Government could come to a FAN Meeting. We always welcome newcomers to FAN Meetings whatever their background, religion or politics and we are happy if as a result of coming they can spread the good word that community feeling is alive and supportive in Wales. After the meeting he launched ‘The All Wales Community Cohesion’ consultation document in January 2009.
The document outlines the project to promote cohesive communities across Wales and to map the changing make up of communities. It is hoped that further feedback from communities will enable them to respond to the changing needs of Wales.
FAN Group attendees welcomed Minister Brian Gibbons at Severn Road Adult Education Centre and along with others from the Project’s steering group, we all enjoyed saying a little about ourselves at the FAN Meeting. Even with 30+ people at the FAN Meeting and everyone speaking in turn, the meeting was a success and magically finished within the hour!
After the FAN Meeting, Dr Gibbons chatted with attendees, listened to people speak about their own experiences of FAN before speaking to us all about the ‘The All Wales Community Cohesion’ document.
Dr Gibbons said: "I was very pleased to visit the Fan Group meeting in January to launch the consultation on our new Community Cohesion Strategy and I would like to thank the members for their warm welcome. Wales needs strong, resilient and harmonious communities which can respond effectively to the pace and scale of economic, social and cultural change in the 21st Century."
To read 'The All Wales Community Cohesion Strategy' please click HERE. The FAN Groups are featured on Page 11
9th April, 2009
Zahra and Gill were invited to the Banqueting Room at Whitehall. FAN meetings have been cited as an example of good practice in integrating people into the community by the Advisory Board for Naturalization and Integration - in their Final Report which came out in 2008.
Zahra was asked to speak about the ‘Road to British Citizenship’. Gill said Zahra’s many friends in FAN Meetings would have been very proud of her. She spoke so well.
Zahra also told the listeners how marvellous it was to find her first FAN meeting which was in Severn Road FAN Group in Canton, Cardiff. After that she went to different FAN Groups regularly and made many friends. Zahra said she was very lonely in her first couple of years in this country and she felt very shy and not confident. Then she said – ‘You can see how much confidence I have had from the FAN Meetings – that is why I can stand here and talk to you today.’ Lots of people came up to her afterwards to tell her how moved they were by her speech.
If you would like to read the ABNI Report, please click HERE The FAN Groups are featured on page 22
25th February, 2009
We are aiming to set up a FAN Group in Newport. Is there anyone out there who is sympathetic to people who feel lonely and isolated and who likes meeting different people and would like to help?
The FAN Development Group has been formed to try to think of ways to help new FAN Groups to get started. If you are interested why not contact us and when we have a place available on the group we will be glad of your help.
Would you like to start a FAN Group where you are? We want to have FAN Groups right across Wales and the UK and eventually world-wide to help people come together and make friends.
25th February, 2009
Zahra and Gill are to attend a meeting at Whitehall for ABNI - the Advisory Board for Naturalisation and Integration. Zahra will talk about her road to British Citizenship and how FAN helped her and Gill will also talk about The FAN Charity.
25th February, 2009
Our new FAN Development Officer Amy Cuff joined us on 1st September. We want to support her in every way we can and we hope it will mean that more FAN Groups will open next year to give people a greater feeling of belonging in the place where they live.
Amy will be pleased to help anyone interested in starting a FAN Group in their area. Please email and ask if you would like to do it. It is quite simple to start a FAN Group if you are friendly and like meeting people but the rewards are great. You will meet so many people and we have discovered that every person is interesting if we remember to listen.
25th February, 2009
The FAN friends met at the Salvation Army, Grangetown to celebrate the recent wedding of Agnieszka and Wotjek.
We had a message from Agnieszka saying... "Thank you very very much for last Saturday. All of you made us really happy." Love from Agnieszka and Wotjek
Our friends received a cushion from FAN friends to celebrate the occasion of their wedding - beautifully made by Shirley and including materials from different countries donated by lots of FAN members. On the back of the cushion is the Welsh Dragon.
25th February, 2009
The good work of The FAN Charity has been recognised by the Welsh Assembly Government, as we were asked to submit information so that we could be placed on their website as a good example of voluntary groups working for community cohesion.
Our work has been described as: 'Developing and strengthening good relations between individuals of all backgrounds.'
Click here to visit the Welsh Assembly Government's FAN Charity page
25th February, 2009
The FAN Charity have joined in partnership with Oxfam Cymru, after being awarded financial backing from Oxfam, enabling The FAN Charity to continue their work over the coming year.
Oxfam is well-known for its work relieving poverty and fighting injustice abroad, but a lot of people do not realise that they have programmes that work towards helping improve the lives of people living in the UK.
Oxfam Cymru recognised The FAN Charity success in creating a network of groups based in their local communities for people to listen to each other and give emotional support. Newcomers to the area are made particularly welcome and The FAN Charity also create a space for cultural exchange and a platform for all in the community to be heard. The world-renowned charity Oxfam has noted the impact The FAN Charity has had on community cohesion, reducing social isolation and promoting religious and racial harmony, understanding and respect for all.
Lynne Hughes of Oxfam Cymru said...
"All over the world Oxfam works with people affected by crisis. In the UK this means helping those who are fleeing persecution abroad and seeking asylum here. We work with asylum-seekers to help them overcome the prejudice they may face in the UK. As such we support projects that bring asylum-seekers together with their host communities to break down the stereotypes the groups have of each other, and help the communities to understand each other better. FAN is an excellent example of this."
Gill, Secretary/Trustee of FAN was thrilled that Oxfam chose to back The FAN Charity. She said....
"Everyone admires the work of Oxfam and it was wonderful to have their support for a project to start putting things in place for The FAN Charity to become a National Organisation which as a result, will be ready to help and advise on setting up FAN Groups across Wales."
Click here to visit Oxfam Cymru's website.