During Black History Month, Bexley ICS will mark the month with various activities and online engagement to reflect the contribution of the Black African and Black Caribbean communities to the borough. The theme of Black History Month 2022 is Time for Change – Action Not Words. Working in collaboration with Bexley Council colleagues, we have created a timetable of activity for Bexley residents.

We are organising another event in  Bexley on 26 October at St Augustine’s Primary School, Belvedere DA17 5HP. More details to follow very soon…

Tosca Fairchild, Chief of Staff at SEL ICS speaks at Bexley Black History Month launch event

We marked the start of Black History Month with a joint launch event organised in collaboration with the London Borough of Bexley. The event was open to residents of Bexley who heard from guest speakers including Jackie Belton, the CEO of the Council who spoke about the importance of Black History month in recognising the immense contribution that the Black community has made to Bexley. Guests in attendance included the Deputy Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Rags Sandhu.

We were delighted to welcome Tosca Fairchild, SEL ICS, Chief of Staff, who spoke passionately about why the month and the theme of “Time for Change: Action not Words” was so important. You can watch clips from Tosca’s speech below.

 

Yeukai Taruvinga, Founder of Active Horizons, Bexley

Yeukai Taruvinga came to the UK as an 18-year old asylum seeker in 2001 when her life was put in danger by her opposition to the political regime in Zimbabwe where she grew up. In She founded the charity Active Horizons to provide opportunities for young people to thrive.

“Black History is an opportunity to celebrate and honour the Black existence, our heroes past and what they have fought for an opportunity to teach and learn Black history and legacy.

The month offers a chance to explore Black history beyond those of racism and enslavement and to highlight Black accomplishments. The continued celebration of BHM helps gives context for the present & future.

There’s a lot of discrimination & prejudice faced by black people when it comes to health and well-being.  For example: Specific to Black women, due to the misguided stereotype of ‘strong Black women,’ a lot of healthcare professions are dismissive of any pain they say they have.”

Toke, resident in Bexley

Toke is 17 years old and attends Active Horizons in Erith, a youth-led charity and social hub set up to support young Black and Minority Ethnic people and their families.

 “Black history month is important because it’s a constant reminder of the rich heritage and culture of black people. It’s important because it keeps the message in people’s heads that black culture is one to be celebrated constantly as we have come so far.

I think the biggest health issues for young black people is mainly mental health issues that are not taken seriously especially by the government. Especially the cognitive ones like ADHD, etc which is just put down to children “acting out” when they actually have something causing them to act that way.”

Aishah, Sports Inclusion Officer for BVSC and Bexley Disability Sports & Physical Activity Network Lead

“When I was asked to write something about Black History Month, I took a moment to reflect on what it means to me personally. I have mixed feelings on this as, on the one hand, it is a positive initiative, acknowledging the diversity, the differences and celebrating them. However, the very need for a month to draw people’s attention to the contribution made by a particular group suggests a lack of awareness and perhaps acceptance in the first place. I have similar feelings around the work that I do in attempting to remove the barriers for the d/Deaf and disabled community in accessing sports and physical activities, as a woman, and so on. There’s clearly a need to normalise people of colour, or any other marginalised group as an integral part of society, so much more progress needs to be made.

Despite that, if this is our starting point, then it can only be a good thing to at least draw our attention to it. To get people thinking and perhaps challenging stereotypes and prejudices. To build stronger, diverse, and rich communities in which all cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds are celebrated and accepted. This is both a challenge but also a hope for the future.”

News, blogs and events in Bexley

Bexley Wellbeing Partnership presents Bexley’s Big Conversation

Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
6-7pm
Council Chamber, London Borough of Bexley Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT
Bexley Wellbeing Partnership meeting – 24 November 2022

Join the Bexley Wellbeing Partnership Committee as this month we focus on Men’s health and wellbeing, with our panel highlighting some of services in the borough and sharing information on local support. Members of the public will have an opportunity to send in questions in advance of the meeting and ask questions at the start […]

Thursday 24th November 2022
2-4pm
Council Chamber, London Borough of Bexley Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexley, DA6 7AT
Bexley Wellbeing Partnership meeting – 20 October 2022

The Bexley Wellbeing Partnership will host its next meeting held in public on Thursday 20th October 2022, at 2pm – 4pm. Members of the public will have an opportunity to send in questions in advance of the meeting and ask questions at the start of the meeting. Please email bexleyquestions@selondonics.nhs.uk with your questions before 5pm […]

20 October 2022
2-4pm
The Black Prince Suite, Holiday Inn Bexley, Bexley DA5 1ND