Greenwich-based organisation Creating Ground works with women who have been affected by the UK’s “hostile environment” policies. Its director, LAURA MARZIALE, is looking for help and support with a project aimed at helping migrants stuck in temporary accommodation.
Creating Ground is a not-for-profit organisation that works with women from migrant backgrounds to promote cross-cultural awareness, learning and sharing across different cultures in South-East London through collaborative arts and educational projects.
In October 2019 we started a group called Stronger Together. 12 women from different backgrounds attended a women and leadership course run by our community organiser from Greenwich Citizens with the support of Near Neighbours. This course gave us skills in community organising, leadership and provided a space for us to discuss all the issues that matter to us and think of ways to take action in our community.
Since then, we have been on quite a journey. Lockdown was announced and we switched to meeting online, a new and foreign way of being together. During this period, we adapted to meeting in this virtual world to discuss very important issues such as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of migrants and the challenges we faced or were facing in the UK. We were also able to welcome new women to our group, and introduce new ways of doing community organising and leadership using online spaces.
It has been a year of sudden changes, a year of new perspectives, a year of turning difficulties into opportunities, a year of seeing the potential where there were limits, a year of us coming together to support each other, a year of us getting stronger together.
We are extremely proud to have co-produced a short film during this time, Finding Strength: Stories of the UK Hostile Environment, working collaboratively to tell our stories as migrants in the UK from varying perspectives. For our group, the process of sharing and documenting our experiences in the film was just as important as the final product because it allowed us to reflect on “the world as it is” and identify what we wanted to work on to get to “the world as it should be”.
Some of our Stronger Together leaders have also formed a trainers’ group to share our learning with other groups and organisations in Greenwich and to raise awareness on the issues affecting migrants in the UK bringing our own perspective and expertise.
Now we are working on our Temporary Accommodation campaign, called #NoticeUs, with the guidance of Greenwich Citizens and the support of University of Greenwich. Our campaign aims to unite women who have had similar experiences navigating the temporary accommodation system in the UK, as well as our two main asks to Greenwich Council:
- Provide notice periods for those who are in temporary accommodation
- Provide stable access to wifi in temporary accommodation
We will be presenting our asks as part of a performance in October.
We would like to welcome more women into our group, to share their experiences and tell their stories to make positive change in our communities.
We also welcome people to join our campaign and support us. To get involved or join our group please email info[at]theground.org.uk