The process of encouraging new friendships and social networks applies both to participants in our projects and to YUMI itself. For YUMI, collaborating with other organisations enables us to develop our activities and create new links and partnerships across York – resulting in some very successful and interculturally inspired partnership projects.
For YUMI volunteers and participants, the skills they learn during the course of such projects go beyond the projects’ specific foci, such as gardening, or drawing; they also acquire and strengthen life skills – organisation, time management, communication and interpersonal skills. All of these help them: both in delivering future YUMI projects and in their working lives and other voluntary initiatives.
Finding a Voice with Jenny Zobel ( J Z ) – 2010, 2011
JZ works as an education consultant at the Centre for Global Education at York St John University, and created the Finding A Voice project for people from different cultural backgrounds During the course of this 2 year project, 21 YUMI members from 16 different cultures attended workshops where they developed their writing skills and explored themes of identity and journeys between cultures. The work they produced found huge audiences; through BBC Radio York (15,000), at YUMI’s Street Festival (30,000) and at dedicated presentations.
Danesgate Project with The Prince’s Trust – 2011
The Danesgate Community provides vulnerable children and young people living in York, who have struggled to learn in mainstream schools, with high quality education. This project brought 6 Danesgate students together with 6 YUMI volunteers to clear and and develop an area of land for use as a community garden. The young people had the chance to meet people from other cultures, and improve their practical and social skills. The YUMI volunteers were able to develop their communication and workshop skills. Both groups had an enormous sense of accomplishment.
International Community Quilt Project with York Quilt Museum & Gallery – 2010
The York Quilt Museum is dedicated to quiltmaking and textile arts and promotes this craft through changing exhibitions of historic and contemporary textiles. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery grant, the museum was able to run a community outreach programme ‘Unfolding the Quilts’, in which 13 YUMI members from 9 different cultures took part. They learned about the history, art and craft of patchwork and quilting as well as practical sewing skills. Each participant created a panel representing their individual cultures which were sewn together to make a truly intercultural quilt.
Art at Beningborough Hall with the National Trust – 2008, 2009
Beningborough Hall is an 18th century baroque mansion situated between York and Harrogate and owned by the National Trust. The Hall is partnered with and houses loaned collections from the National Portrait Gallery. YUMI collaboration with the Hall enabled 49 YUMI members (including 3 families) from 10 different cultures to explore their cultural identity through a series of portraiture workshops culminating in exhibitions of their work at the Hall.
During the course of the exhibitions, over 2,000 visitors came to view their work .
International Nursery Song Project with Songbox, City of York Council, York Museums Trust and City Art Gallery
This project saw parents from lots of different communities coming together to share and learn nursery songs from around the world with storyteller, Thea Jacob, who runs the York-based family music group, Songbox. The 200 YUMI family members from 22 different cultures who took part were able to experience the tangible recognition and appreciation of their own cultures as their contributions were collected into a nursery song book. Piloted in ‘Early Years’ settings throughout York, the book reached 1,000 children between the ages of 2 and 5; it was promoted to the thousands of visitors to YUMI’s Street Festival and is still widely used by families across the city.
‘Come Sing’ with York Minster – 2006, 2008
A total of 160 YUMI members from 7 different cultures came together, naming themselves ‘The YUMI Warblers’, to take part in the workshops and choral performances of this multiculural community choir festival facilitated by York Minster.
As well as enjoying the chance to develop their singing alongside professionally trained singers, participants experienced the excitement of performing for an audience of 800 at one of the world’s greatest cathedrals. The event raised both positive awareness of York’s cultural diversity and funds for the charity.