In a multiracial society like ours the importance of having good relationships between all members of it cannot be overstated. The SMEF is a Race Equality Charity and a membership organisation that represents 48 plus multi-ethnic community groups in Surrey and surrounding areas. It was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021 in recognition of its work in strengthening communities. The High Sheriff and Mrs. Critchlow spent two hours on 27th June at the Guildford offices of SMEF and enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation and dialogue with the leaders of its Projects. The Projects are in response to expressed needs and include:
Surrey Faith Links Project – strengthening the links between faith groups. Since 2009 there has been interfaith work in the county and it is well supported by the Bishops of Guildford and Dorking. There is an inter faith forum that holds meetings.
Minority Communities Reference Group – giving voice and representation to ethnic minorities. This involves 16 volunteers from different ethnic communities.
Many Hands Project – this is concerned with the integration of ethnic minorities.
Active Community Project – community safety.
Trust Project – empowering women, preventing violence against women and children, and supporting groups.
Health and Race Project – raising awareness of health matters.
Mental Health Stakeholder Project – mental health issues.
Household Support Project.
The vision of SMEF is for Surrey to be home to strong, confident, and diverse communities – united in their ambition to improve wellbeing for all. It aims to engage and empower minority communities to work together to actively find solutions to the social and economic challenges they face. Together they can have a stronger impact and a louder voice. It is supported by Surrey County Council, the Community Foundation for Surrey and others. The High Sheriff and his wife found their visit was full of interest and information and thank the Project leaders for answering their many questions. They were grateful to be invited to meet them by Neelam Devesher DL the Chair of SMEF and hope invitations to their events will follow