Bengali women from Brighton received help from a charity to visit a community garden in London, in the hope of setting up a similar project back home.
The Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) helped the Moulsecoomb Bangladeshi Women’s Group secure funding from the East Brighton Trust to take a trip to the Coriander Club at Spitalfields City Farm.
The group is based at St George’s Hall in East Brighton and aims to promote the wellbeing of female Bangladeshi residents living in the city.
The Brighton women visited The Coriander Club – a gardening and cookery club for older generation Bengali women living in the Spitalfield area.
Founder Lutfun Hussain is originally from Bangladesh and set up the club in 2000 to help counteract her homesickness. The Coriander Club improves the mental health and wellbeing of local Bengali women, many who speak very little English, suffer with long term health conditions and social isolation.
The club provides a regular opportunity to volunteer and socialise with others, where women can learn to grow vegetables, cook and share healthy meals together. Every Tuesday a women-only gardening session is held which helps offset isolation, loneliness and homesickness amongst the volunteers.
Many of the Brighton women already grow their own food so the aim of the trip was to learn more about cultivating specific native Bangladeshi vegetables and explore the idea of starting a food growing project in Moulsecoomb.
Mishruna Kibria, co-ordinator of the Moulsecoomb group said, “I just loved the whole atmosphere of the garden. It’s fantastic - it’s a charity not a business - a charity vegetable garden in the middle of the city!
“For the women in our group to see all the traditional vegetables from Bangladesh is amazing. For someone like my mum who lives in the UK it makes her so happy.
“In Brighton, there isn’t anywhere for Bengali women to come together outdoors and do something active together. If we could pull off something like this in Moulsecoomb it would be something so incredible and important – people would come to visit us!”