AWAZ Cumbria is a social enterprise and community development organisation which aims to empower the voices of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) People and Communities in Cumbria.

We work with people to improve the quality of their life; we support community development initiatives and partnerships; we provide information, advocacy and support in complex and difficult situations by making referrals to appropriate organisations and connecting people and community networks.

Our vision is to make Cumbria a place of welcome where people of all backgrounds can live, work, learn, grow in a climate of respect and celebration of ethnic and cultural diversity; a place where to build a community of people working together to promote understanding and tackle prejudice.

A community is a live entity and it undergoes changes, disruption, rebuilding.

It’s an ever changing landscape.

How can we keep up with these changes and be empowered and made stronger by them rather than affected and weakened?

A community is made of many people, all coming from different walks of life, different places, different stories.

And yet we all have lots in common: a shared geographical area, a sense of place, an intellectual or cultural identity, values, beliefs, resources, hopes, fears, dreams.

The common denominator is what brings us together, keeps us as one; the different backgrounds are the resources that enrich us, provide us with strength and build our resilience.

A real change is possible only if we all work together.

Erika Ghinelli, Community Development Worker, AWAZ Cumbria