End of the Year Message from Yvonne Field, Founder and Managing Director of The Ubele Initiative
It is hard to believe that we are approaching another year end. The adage that reminds us that time goes faster as you get older seems to be playing out, for me at least. So many exciting things have happened over the past twelve months. It has been, to be honest,a bit of whirl wind for us but one which has enabled us to grow, learn and access exciting opportunities.
We moved from hot desking office space in Tottenham to two offices on the lovely 3.5 acre Wolves Lane Horticultural Centre, in Wood Green and joined the emerging consortium which manages the site. We led on 3 culturally diverse community markets, co-hosted a film night (with StART) on housing and gentrification and had a low key visit from the London Rapper J Hus (who donated £4000 to our crowdfunding campaign). We led two successful initiatives which has helpedsecure much neededfunding for site development.
We completed the Mali Enterprising Leaders’ Project which supported six BAME led organisations in London and Manchester over 18 months and created and launched the first ever BAME Community Business Toolkit. Although this project drew to a close, the experience enabled us to be commissioned to support the Lloyd Leon Community Centre, an iconic African Caribbean led centre in Brixton, locally known as the Domino Club. We are now working to strengthen governance arrangements, engage diverse communities and to develop a new business plan.
We also continued to support our London based incubation projects grow and are being approached on a regular basis to help pilot initiatives.
Our main international project of the year was our Erasmus+ European Summer School. We hosted 86 people from across the UK on 4 courses in Amsterdam and Berlin. Members of the Ubele community also travelled to partnership programmes in East Timor, Berlin (again x2!), France (x2), Italy, Malaysia, Poland (x2), Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey (x3).We also sent a delegation of 20 young adults to the European Youth Forum (Yo!Fest 2018) in Strasbourg and 5 young adults to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London in April 2018 - it is the youth voice of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
We also hosted people from Italy, Poland, Turkey. We are now in the recruitment phase for an even bigger international adult learning programme for next year – the Sankofa Intergenerational Learning Hub which will offer 5 courses in Amsterdam and Athens.
The Ubele Initiative would not have been able to achieve any of the above and much more without the unwavering support of a team of people who work tirelessly to make all this happen. I would like to thank everyone for their support, encouragement and collaboration. We look forward to celebrating our 5th birthday next May.
Yvonne Field, Founder and Managing Director of The Ubele Initiative