‘Common Ground’ is an EU Grundtvig Learning Partnership.
All of us are seeking ‘Common Ground’ across the EU, asking:
“What do we really share – as individuals, as groups and as nations – and socially – and how can we share more?”
We do practical, interesting and enjoyable things to help us understand each other better and to bring us closer together across the cultural and political lines that still divide Europe.
We work locally to make new connections between traditional and immigrant communities.
We forge digital links across the continent, sharing ideas and opinions.
We visit each other, not as tourists but to learn how our partners really live and what their hopes, fears and dreams are.
… and in these and many other ways we hope to build a stronger and happier Europe of the hearts and minds.
The project web site can be viewed here
Pathways is the UK partner in this project.
Its work during the year 2012 – 2013 focused on action to develop links in Bishop’s Castle, on the Welsh – English border, that assisted integration of local residents and newcomers.
The work centred on engaging a range of people in the community to share the planning, development & delivery of a walking festival.
The activity is outlined here: Common Ground in BC
During 2013 whilst working on the initial part of the project members of Pathways discovered through conversation that whilst Bishop’s Castle seemed to have a largely native British population, the population included people whose origins included over 20 different countries.
The impact of these new residents is considerable as many are engaged in health care, service and manufacturing employment.
Within a week a fund raising event had been organised by the local Filipino families (important as providers of the local health care). Neighbours & friends from across the community – both ‘long established’ & ‘newcomers’ – supported their efforts.
The fundraising event – which raised nearly £1000 in a two-hour long ‘coffee morning’ held in the Church barn – thus also created its own ‘Common Ground’ in which the increasingly diverse local community shared.
During the 2nd year of the Common Ground project the work engaged new residents from many varied backgrounds & centred on creative activities leading to a presentation entitled ‘Let’s Face It’ at the Bishop’s Castle Arts Festival.