Welcome to Vauxhall: fun event planned to celebrate migrants’ contribution
Migrants make an immense contribution to our society. Lambeth has long had a strong reputation as a welcoming home for people from all over the world, so two local campaign groups are teaming up on 17th February to host an afternoon event celebrating migrants and migration.
‘Welcome to Vauxhall’, organised by Lambeth for Europe and Portugueses4Europe, will celebrate the profound benefits that immigrants have brought to our area – from the name itself which derives from a 13th-century French immigrant, Faulkes de Breauté, to the many Portuguese businesses providing jobs and services in Vauxhall today. The free event, which welcomes migrants and non-migrants equally, will feature locally prepared food, European wine tasting, ‘speed friendshipping’, and plenty of other activities to help people meet and mingle with their neighbours.
This event forms part of the national campaign, One Day Without Us, which celebrates the contribution migrants have made to this country. Even in an area like Lambeth, the aftermath of the Brexit vote and relentlessly negative national media stories about migration have left many immigrants feeling uncertain about their rights, opportunities and futures, and the organisers believe that Lambeth should stand together against this.
Deputy Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Guilherme Rosa, said: “Negative references to migrants during debates on Brexit made me highly motivated to take action. I asked my fellow councillors to give me the Deputy Mayor role to provide the best possible example of migrants’ determination to integrate, participate, express fondness for Britishness and be recognised as part of this country, in a healthy way. Vauxhall is at the core of London’s multiculturalism, so there’s no better place to celebrate our joy to live in the UK. Please feel motivated to come along and mingle with other migrants, descendants of migrants and Britons who courageously stand at our side in these worrying times. Absolutely everyone is welcome – we hope to create an event that will become a fond memory of Lambethans, celebrating migrants’ positive contribution to this outstanding country and society.”
Heather Glass of Lambeth for Europe said, “We hear all the time that the Brexit vote was about dissatisfaction with immigration yet Lambeth, with nearly three times more residents born outside the UK than the national average, was also the area that voted most strongly to remain in the EU. Lambeth is a shining example of how people from all backgrounds can live and thrive together and our event on 17th February will be a great chance to celebrate that”.
‘Welcome to Vauxhall’ runs from 2 – 4.45pm at Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Ln, Lambeth SW8 2UP. The event is free and open to people of all backgrounds and ages. For more information and to sign up please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/412241205867049/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.