Inclusive Exeter came about when a number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community groups in Exeter got together to celebrate their respective cultures and invite the wider community to participate. Some of these groups were quite large, some small, some constituted, some not, some operating as small community associations, all of them supported by enthusiatic and industrious volunteers. Inclusive Exeter aims to sustain our communities’ activities and further better understanding with the wider community.
In November 2019 we took on the running of Exwick Community Centre. In our first few months at the Centre we developed good relationships with our users but we had to close once the COVID-19 hit and activities were stopped. This closure did not prevent Inclusive Exeter from being an active force for good. Within days of the first national lockdown being announced, Inclusive Exeter brought together over thirty volunteers who delivered our Coronavirus Hardship Relief Project. This was a much needed project delivering cooked and frozen ready meals to anyone adversely affected by the pandemic. This included people who were shielding, elderly persons, those with a disability or underlying health condition, health care workers and people facing financial difficulties. In addition to the meals we were able to offer beneficiaries ambient food items thanks to support from FareShare and local supermarkets.
The pandemic brought to mainstream attention many issues faced by some BAME people before the pandemic, including social isolation, lack of familiarity with mainstream services, little participation in physical activity. Inclusive Exeter aims to address these through our Drop-In Support Service and our programme of physical activities (see Our Projects).