Conversations Flow in Afternoon Tea Event

An award-winning charity welcomed members of the local community in a cohesion event which featured sandwiches, cakes, tea and conversation about stem cell donation.

One Voice Blackburn held its annual Afternoon Tea over the weekend at St. Francis’ Church Hall with around 100 people in attendance. The charity won a Queen’s Award for Volunteering in 2018. One of the key objectives of the charity is cohesion.

Hosted by 13 year-old West End Girl (WEG) Alaina Masters, guests were treated to a selection of tea, coffee, sandwiches, and cakes. The afternoon tea is a unique celebration in bringing people together in a sophisticated, yet relaxed manner. 

Organisations and individuals across the borough joined in with an afternoon of networking, socialising and food. Guests in attendance included the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen Parwaiz Akhtar, Kate Hollern MP, Principal of Blackburn College Dr. Fazal Dad and members from Blackburn Foodbank. 

The event was supported by the Anthony Nolan Trust in a bid to raise awareness of stem cell amongst the community and young people from ethnic minorities. Every 14 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer. 2,200 people each year need a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. There is clear disparity in equity of access to treatment for those from minority ethnic backgrounds. 

One of the guests in attendance, Derek Niel said, “It feels great to have been invited to such a wonderful occasion filled with inclusivity and education of stem cell donation. We appreciate the community aspect and togetherness of the event and hope it continues.

The Afternoon Tea included a short presentation about the importance of the stem cell education and how joining the stem cell register could save thousands of lives. 

The event was organised by One Voice Blackburn’s 2020 Vision group with the young people on hand to serve an array of drinks and sweet treats. Some of the young members of the group baked some delicious goods including a Victoria sponge cake and other beautifully presented deserts. 

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said, “I have been talking a lot about staff at the Council being a force for good and the team at One Voice Blackburn are definitely also in that category. The young people leading a lot of the activity are the best sort of ambassadors we could have. This event is just a really simple and effective way for people from different backgrounds to get together, chat and focus on common ground.”

To view images from the 1V Afternoon Tea click on the link below: