Govanhill is Scotland’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhood – no other place in Scotland has as many nationalities, cultures and faiths in such a relatively small area. GCDT believes that cultural diversity is to be celebrated and we love Govanhill for it. However, integration does not always come naturally or easily. Support is often required to help new and long standing communities to meet, understand each other and developed a shared vision for their community which enables all to have full access to community life.
The South East Integration Network (SEIN) promotes cultural, racial and religious harmony and equality, supports community development and tackles local poverty. SEIN is funded by the Scottish Government via Glasgow City Council and awards grants of up to £5,000 to local projects that support its aims. It has a dedicated, part-time development worker. Meetings take place monthly, rotating around the south east area of the city. SEIN has previously organised a series of events each year in relation to Refugee Week, Violence Against Women, International Women’s Day and International Roma Day.
A number of local organisations explicitly work to promote integrate, community cohesion and counter xenophobia and racism. These include but are not limited to GCDT, Govanhill Housing Association, Crossroads, The Well, The Space, Romano Lav, Positive Action in Housing, Govanhill Law Centre, Irish Heritage Foundation, Big Noise Govanhill, Daisy Chain Early Years Project, WSREC, YCSA, Govanhill Baths and Community Renewal. Most of these organisations have been supported to deliver activity by the local integration network.
Govanhill Community Development Trust is heavily involved in promoting integration and cohesion in our diverse community, while also helping to tackle language and literacy issues through classes where learners develop literacy skills or learn to speak English. If you or someone you know needs support to develop their language and literacy please get in touch or drop into our offices. We also run a peer education programme where local ethnic minority residents learn about rights, entitlements and key issues in relation to health and housing and then share that information with others. We will also be delivering our New Neighbours integration programme and support for migrants to understand Brexit from late August 2017.
Govanhill is home to many faith communities, with churches, mosques and synagogues often delivering key community services, for instance, to the homeless, destitute or those with addiction issues, people in food poverty, children and families, street workers, the elderly and those experiencing isolation and loneliness. Local faith communities also provide a number of drop-in cafes and free meals.