Category Archives: News

Latest Cohesion Plus news.

Northbrook Metropolitan College

Northbrook Metropolitan College

Cohesion Plus was delighted to support the students of Northbrook Metropolitan College with their annual Met Festival which took place online this year.  The Artistic Director Gurvinder Sandher spoke with Senior Lecturer Phill Minns answering submitted questions from students around his life in the arts, musical influences and his background in Punjabi Bhangra Dance.  

View Met Festival – Met Fest

Virtual Saint George’s Day Celebrations 2020

Virtual Saint George’s Day Celebrations 2020

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic Cohesion Plus working in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Dartford Borough Council and Gravesham Borough Council arranged a series of activities as part of virtual Saint George’s Day celebrations which took place on April 23rd. The centre piece was a short film with a message about staying safe and supporting the NHS. The film was produced by Cohesion Plus and featured a range of local diverse artists such as Bill Singh and Lucky Moyo as well as community and public sector partners including the leaders of the Gravesham and Dartford Borough Councils and Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley QPM.

In addition to the film there were a range of online activities including creative arts activities, sessions on how to make bunting and photo collages, quizzes as well as the sharing of some of the memorable moments from Saint George’s Day festivals over the past decade. A highlight was the virtual flag raising ceremonies.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented, “These are extraordinary times we find ourselves in with the ongoing pandemic. The impact of Covid-19 has been felt far and wide and in so many complex and distressing ways. I am therefore very pleased that working with local partners and Arts Council England we have been able to pull together virtual Saint George’s Day celebrations. Now more than ever we need to celebrate all that binds us together regardless of ethnicity, background or faith”

Phone a Community Friend Scheme Launch

Phone a Community Friend Scheme Launch

Kent Equality Cohesion Council (KECC) and Cohesion Plus over the past couple of weeks have been working with local authority and voluntary sector partners to help tackle some of the issues which have arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the key issues highlighted locally has been the sense of isolation and acute loneliness experienced by many who are cut off from friends and family. As a result of this, KECC and Cohesion Plus have launched the ‘Phone a Community Friend’ scheme. The free phone service offers individuals a chance to have a friendly chat with a like-minded, local people.

Currently to access the service people will simply need to visit either www.kentecc.org.uk or www.cohesionplus.com and complete the short, easy form. A volunteer will aim to be in touch within 24 hours.

Gurvinder Sandher who is leading on this scheme commented “In these unprecedented times it is important that communities come together to support the vulnerable amongst us. Having looked at what support is available locally and taking advice from partners, this was an area where we felt we could make a positive contribution. I am really heartened to see how different community groups, neighbourhoods and faith organisations are coming together locally to do their bit in helping to get us through this challenging period.”

Saint George’s Day 2020 celebrations cancelled

Saint George’s Day 2020 celebrations cancelled

The annual Dartford and Gravesham Saint George’s day celebrations which this year was to feature 22 local schools from the areas on April 23rd have been cancelled due to the ongoing threat of Coronavirus. The celebrations which are some of the biggest in the South East are organised by Cohesion Plus working in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Gravesham Borough Council and Dartford Borough Council.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director commented, “We are immensely proud of our Saint George’s day celebrations which have developed into some of the biggest in the country. In view of the governments ongoing advice on public gatherings we feel we have a responsibility to the schools, artists and members of the public that would have been participating in this year’s celebrations. We are trying to minimise the impact on our artistic partners by scheduling payments as it is important at this stage that we all work together as a sector to support each other. We hope that everyone remains well and that the various steps we and our partners are taking will help reduce risks at this very difficult and worrying time.”

Arts and Culture Celebrated as Part of Commonwealth Day Celebrations

Arts and Culture Celebrated as Part of Commonwealth Day Celebrations

Local community groups from across Gravesham came together to celebrate Commonwealth Day at Saint Andrew’s Arts Centre on Tuesday 10th March. The event was organised by Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council in partnership with the North Kent Caribbean Network and saw performances from Phase 5 Steel Band and the GTown Collective, a group of young grime rappers from the borough during the evening.

Guests included the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Bungar, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Bhargwara Vasudaven, Chairman of the Kent County Council Cllr Ann Allen and Cllr John Burden Leader of Gravesham Borough Council.

Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented, “I was really pleased that working in partnership we were able to arrange a successful community celebration which brought together different generations and communities. It was great to provide a platform at the event for new emerging young artists and the feedback we have had back has been really positive.”