TUC London, Eastern and South East (LESE) and unionlearn have been regular attendants and contributors to the annual Day-Mer Festival in Clissold Park, north London – and they always bring a large number of Quick Reads with them for the stall.
Day-Mer has been organising a Culture and Arts Festival for over 30 years in Hackney and North London. The festival now attracts up to 25,000 people to the park in Stock Newington, with most of those attending being from London’s vibrant Turkish and Kurdish communities. The day is a mix of music, speakers, stalls and food that draws together people from all generations.
Day-Mer organisers feel that the aim of the festival is to build bridges between local communities – so education and langue to ensure understanding is very important.
Unionlearn have a presence on the regional TUC stall and see this as an ideal opportunity to talk to individuals and community groups. This introduces them to the idea of union learning and lets them know about some of the courses that unionlearn and local trade unions can help with - in particular ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages), IT and distance learning.
Unionlearn staff always make sure that the stall is well stocked with a few boxes of the latest Quick Reads to encourage reading. These always prove popular.
Unionlearn Projects Officer Adrian Ryan, says about the event:
Day-Mer is a great opportunity to talk to people from the Turkish and Kurdish communities and find out their learning needs. It’s also great to see the way that the organisers empower young people and give them roles in the running, of what is, a major event.
Unionlearn has been attending Day-Mer for a number of years now and it is a great opportunity for us to reach out and engage with workers and their families from local communities that we don’t often have much contact with. The Quick Reads we bring with us are extremely popular and often taken to help support people.”
Throughout recent festivals Adrian has spoken to lots of people who were interested in finding out how unions could support learning – in particular English skills, but also the union offer on maths, digital skills and how unions support apprenticeships.
The Quick Reads unionlearn brings are extremely popular and the short story nature of the books is ideal for ESOL learners.
TUC LESE Regional Secretary Sam Gurney added:
The Day-Mer Festival is a fabulous event that brings together local communities to enjoy food, music and speakers. The regional TUC is proud to have been involved over the years and support this event whilst promoting trade union learning and ways that unions can support members of the Turkish and Kurdish communities.”