On 29 November 2019, more than 70 people united to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Brushstrokes Community Project.
Brushstrokes began in 1999, in a tiny Black Country council flat. A small group of volunteers went out into the local community to find those who were hidden, neglected and vulnerable. Now, it combines its grassroots beginnings as an organisation supporingt people in need, at their time of need, with its expertise and understanding of how the systems disproportionately affect asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
Over the years, the project has grown to become a powerful voice for migrants in the UK. As well as continuing its vital frontline work, it influences local, regional and national policy with the aim of improving the broken systems that so often are the cause of people’s problems.
To mark the occasion, staff members, volunteers, service users, and representatives from partner organisations came together for a celebration in Brushstrokes’ new community centre.
Sr Margaret Walsh of the Infant Jesus Sisters cut a special anniversary cake. It was a wonderful occasion of food, music, reminiscence and thanksgiving, and a chance for all connected with the Brushstrokes Community Project to contribute to the vision for a great future serving the people of Sandwell.
As we celebrate the last twenty years, we look towards the future, as there is still much to do. And as Brushstrokes rises to meet the growing needs of newcomers, it remains an important part of life for refugees and migrants in Sandwell and beyond.
Brushstrokes is a partnership project between the Infant Jesus Sisters, Father Hudson’s Care, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd and the parish of St Philip Neri. To find out more and to support their work, visit www.brushstrokessandwell.org.uk.
To help Brushstrokes change the lives of more people in need, visit their JustGiving page, www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/fatherhudson/brushstrokes.