Salvation Army Lifehouse marks Black History Month
published on 21 Oct 2022
Staff and residents at a Salvation Army Lifehouse in East London have been marking Black History Month with a number of special activities and displays in the building.
Founders House offers short-term accommodation for up to 12 months to men experiencing homelessness in East London. Support worker Yvette Allen developed a similar programme last year and said she feels it is important to mark the annual event which celebrates the positive contributions Black people have made and continue to make to society.
She said: “It has been wonderful to witness a sense of pride amongst our Black residents when they read the information on our displays, along the corridors. Residents from other backgrounds have also made positive comments about something they have learnt from the displays. The Salvation Army is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, so we are demonstrating what that looks like through our Black History Month celebrations.”
Founders House has already held a number of activities to mark Black History Month and Yvette gave some more details.
She revealed: “We have added Caribbean flavour to our weekly coffee morning. Cleone Food Ltd in Birmingham donated 240 Jamaican patties and my 92-year-old mother from Jamaica and myself made carrot juice from donated carrots. My mother insisted on making the carrot juice the traditional way, so we spent hours making it, but it was worth it, when the residents and staff showed gratitude and appreciation for something they had never tasted before.
“We also went to the British Museum to look at the exhibits on Africa. The residents were inspired by the African art displays and how African people had used insignificant materials to develop wonderful works of art.”
Other planned activities include a Black History Month quiz with refreshments, a Cultural Day with food, music and live performances and a Black History walk in London.
Mark, a resident, said he was pleased The Salvation Army has taken Black History Month into consideration.
He said: “This is a major thing for the Black and ethnic minority communities. I’ve enjoyed reading the useful information on the displays, especially what the Rap artists have said about depression. This has been very empowering for me. The display on African Kings and Queens has shown me where I come from. I read some and then I come back to the posters again the next day and read again. The displays show unity and empowerment, but I think we still have a long way to go”.
Yvette said she is heartened to see an increasing focus on Black History Month nationally.
She added: “At Founders House we are trying to influence the 120 residents we have here along with our external stakeholders and hopefully they will influence others.”