Somali women turn out for energy training

Easton session is best attended of series so far

15 March 2012

The Maandeeq Centre in the heart of Easton is a popular location for Bristol’s Somali community with its food market, restaurants and shops – so it was a fitting venue for CSE’s latest adult community learning event aimed primarily at Somali women.

The two-hour training session covered heat loss, insulation and draught-proofing – all issues for which there is a great desire for information within the Somali community.

“We know through our work on the Warming Bristol Communities project that many Somalis, because of language and cultural barriers, have little understanding of issues such as damp and condensation,” explained Senior Energy Advisor at CSE, Lisa Pinchen. “It’s not something that is prevalent in Somalia. There is also a great need for help with issues like fuel bills, tariffs and reading meters, particularly for those who don’t speak English.”

The event, at the end of February, was attended by around 30 Somali women – the best attended of any previous adult community learning event. Yusuf Salah, CSE’s regular volunteer on the Warming Bristol Communities project, was on hand to interpret throughout.

Following the session, each attendee was given a pack to take away containing draught-proofing products, and a demonstration was provided to show everyone how to install them. All the attendees also stayed around for a traditional Somali lunch provided by the Tropicanna restaurant downstairs.

“The training went really well, and they were all extremely grateful not only for the packs and the lunch, but also for the advice we were able to provide,” Lisa said.

Under Bristol City Council’s adult community learning fund, CSE has conducted a number of training sessions to adults across Bristol, all of which particularly focus on adults who are currently not involved in any other learning activity.

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