Two Ealing Council councillors and members of the cabinet, Councillor Jasbir Anand and Councillor Josh Blacker celebrated Diwali with the local community at Catalyst Housing’s Southall Day Centre last week (1 November 2022).
The two councillors, were joined by more than 150 people to celebrate the festival of light with music, singing and dancing at the day centre said to be the first of its kind in the UK for Asian senior citizens when it opened in 1984.
The day started with a talk about the importance of mental wellbeing followed by a vegetarian lunch and festivities.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for thriving communities, said: “It was a real joy to join with local residents at the Southall Day Centre to celebrate Diwali. The Day Centre is really valued by local older people from our Asian communities, where they come together to meet and share conversation and memories, as well as take part in the range of activities that the Centre offers.”
Councillor Josh Blacker, cabinet member for healthy lives, commented: “It is so important that our older residents can take part in activities that improve not only their physical health but also their mental health and wellbeing. This event, celebrating Diwali, spread the message of friendship and togetherness, which is so important when older people can feel lonely and cut off from their communities, friends and even sometimes family.”
Sukhwant Sandher, Southall Day Centre manager, said: “I was overjoyed to host this Diwali celebration, bringing together people from all backgrounds and religions to celebrate this happy occasion. Thank you to councillors Anand and Blacker for coming and supporting this event.”
Mr Sandher added: “This event is just one of the excellent community events and activities that take place at the Southall Day Centre, supporting the needs of older people and providing learning opportunities for the diverse local community. We provide a range of help at the centre including support to navigate welfare benefits, help to overcome language barriers, and raising awareness about important issues.”