From Manchester, with a dual heritage, Lauren has worked in the charity sector for around 10 years, with this much experience launching SPEAK Manchester was clearly a good idea.
She’s as expected, passionate about diversity and inclusion, which makes her the perfect founder for SPEAK Manchester. Love for nature and travelling produce the perfect mixture for a calm, compassionate, and caring environment that is expected within a community like the one where Lauren lives.
Regarding SPEAK, Lauren started as a buddy in an English conversational group, where she relates that it has been the most amazing experience.
How diverse is Manchester?
Based on the 2021 census, Greater Manchester’s diversity is unique within the world. Some may say that it is the most diverse city in the world. Many of the locals are bilingual and there are approximately 153 languages spoken by the people in the city.
It was estimated, in 2021, that there were 821,801 residents, of which 389,283 were Asian, 144,887 were non-white British, 134,113 were Black people, 86,520 were mixed, and 66,997 were from other ethnic groups.
“Around 30% of the people in Manchester weren’t born there,” said Laura while talking about what brings her to SPEAK.
Why establish now SPEAK Manchester?
Discussing these topics with the founder provided a perfect perspective on how different people can be connected. The main solution was to break the language barrier while maintaining their original cultural identity.
Many people need the opportunity to practice their language skills, which results in various small community groups. Obviously, with a project like this one, we reactivate both migrants’ and natives’ interest in forming a communicative society.
Lauren said she had made an amusing trip that started in Turkey and took her through Georgia and Armenia. These experiences made her curious about different cultural perspectives. These perspectives motivated her to attempt a gathering of all possible foreign cultures together in her city.
A perfect place to learn languages!
Why bother travelling far when you can meet loads of people with different lifestyles, languages, cultures, and costumes? Nothing undertakes the value of travelling, however, seeing these diverse ethnic groups growing together never ceases to amaze the ones who believe in a compassionate community.
Close to 20% of Manchester’s adult population declared a language other than English to be their “main language” in the 2011 Census.
Data from the Education Service shows that more than 40% of Manchester’s primary school children speak an additional language to English in their homes. Community languages with the largest number of speakers in Manchester are Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Bengali, Polish, Panjabi, and Somali. More information can be found here.
In an interview with Lauren, we acknowledge her love for diversity and inclusion, for that matter, we choose to share with you, some statements provided by her.
“…I’ve done a lot of travelling, and you know, in different people, you get to know different cultures all over the world and obviously, it has enriched my life…” said Lauren.
After years of travelling, Lauren learned how to communicate with people from different backgrounds, regardless of language, culture, and religion. The impact of interacting with completely different people resulted in this project, with the following goals:
“… I just want to create a space where everyone feels valued where everyone feels heard where everyone feels accepted regardless of the background. A real community for everyone. So whether you’re a local, a migrant, a refugee, or an Asylum Seeker, I won’t judge anyone. Create a place where everyone can come and just speak…” said Lauren
Join SPEAK Manchester and find your home!
Everybody can make a difference, either by acting as an individual or by joining a community. This difference can mark the world in a micro or macro, depending on what you aim for. Regardless of your aims, by acting for yourself, will exponentially develop skills to help others. But you are not alone, various individuals have started their journey through social inclusion and diversity acceptance.
Share your story at SPEAK Manchester
Those around you will have a similar experience where they come out victorious. Join a group as a buddy to support SPEAK Manchester, or as a participant if you’re looking for a welcoming community to connect with. If you want to know a little bit more about “home is not a place” please, we encourage you to read this article.
Rule 9: Assume That The Person You Are Listening To Might Know Something You Don’tJordan B. Peterson
Your home can be found outside the physical world. This home can appear in the shape of a warm welcome or a crowd that wants to know your side of the story. Remember you may not be alone in this path.