The Kosovar relief project began in May 1999 when more than 300 Kosovan refugees came into the County. It was funded by Cumbria County Council and became known as the Kosovar Support Team in June 2000 when the Kosovar families moved to Barrow. The Centre has now extended its boundaries and its aims when earlier this year it became the Multi-Cultural Community Centre, working with all ethnic minority people in and around Barrow.
A support group made up of young Kosovars in Barrow has won the 2003 Philip Lawrence Award, which is a UK wide scheme to promote the work of young people in the community. `Kosovars in Barrow’ is a young people’s support group; part of the Cumbria County Council funded Kosovar Relief Project, aiming to promote racial harmony in Cumbrian communities.
`Kosovars in Barrow’ beat 125 other groups to the coveted award at a London reception yesterday hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald. Irene Troughton is the group leader and support worker. She says,
“I am delighted for the young people involved in `Kosovars in Barrow’ as this is real recognition for their outstanding work. The award is specifically for the group’s magazine and website www.kibonline.com
The Philip Lawrence Award aims to reward and encourage young people to support each other, combat racism and violence and promote community activity. The young people have demonstrated an excellent contribution to their community"
The centre continues to be supported by Cumbria County Council. Mohammed Dhalech, Equality Officer for the Council explains how the Centre contributes to the Council’s equality goals. He says,
“We are currently working to develop a Comprehensive Equality Policy for Cumbria. The policy includes details on how it will meet statutory duties under the Race Relations Amendment Act to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and encourage good community relations. The Council is working towards mainstreaming equalities in all its business and to improve the quality of life for Cumbria's communities. The Multi Cultural Forum and the work carried out by the young people in the `Kosovars in Barrow’ group is an excellent example of the promotion of racial harmony and understanding in communities.”
For more information contact Irene Troughton on (01229) 8944