We have reached a milestone this month, we have now had 1,000 visitors to the blog. Our visitors are mainly from the UK but we have also had visitors from the United States, Brazil, Germany, China, Romania and many other countries. Our most popular blog ever was written by Tudor who wrote such a beautiful and positive piece about how living in Sheffield had given him insight and acceptance of difference. (Giving it your best shot – learning from others).
2016 has been a momentous year politically, the UK voted for Brexit, the US voted for Trump and it seems that the world is much more turbulent than when we started a year ago. We think that these events make what we are doing more important, the need to understand what life is like for different people is even more important as a way of building trust between us all. Our aim is to help newcomers to the UK:
- Share stories
- Widen networks
- Find resources
We have learnt so much from people sharing their stories: what is it is to live in another country, other than the one we were born in? We have seen how frustrating it can be if you don’t understand how feedback is given, that people enjoy how polite the British are and how annoying it can be. We have discovered surprise at how online the UK is. We have heard about different concepts of time(British Mean Time) I have found this myself when I told an African friend, who had been cooking lunch for me all day , that I would arrive between 12 and 12.30. She was furious, she thought I meant I would stay for half an hour! It was obvious to me that I was giving an arrival time but what is obvious to me is not always obvious to you and vice versa.
We have heard that it can be challenging going back to your home country when people can make assumptions about how well your new life is going. We know that the struggles and tribulations of making a new life can be difficult to share.
People born in the UK have had a mirror held up to them and people who were once newcomers to the UK have generously shared their insights to help others.
So, what next?
We have a website: http://togetherintheUK.co.uk in development. A wonderful group called Women Who Hack are helping us put together a really professional site.
We will continue to find and post more stories.
We will run more events during the coming year.
We have reached a stage where we have confidence in the future and the value of what we are doing so are fundraising: http://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/togetherintheUK to get us further quicker.