Mazury Dance Company of the Polish YMCA has for 70 years been serving the community in Ealing. During WW2 there were many Poles who had been forced to leave their homes and had to make new lives in the UK. They found themselves without a home or a culture and so Mazury was born. It began as a way to bring these refugees together and build a community in their new and foreign home.
Since then, it has become an important part of the Polish community in Ealing, (the largest enclave of Poles living outside of Poland) and we have embraced over 4 generation of Poles as well as thousands of new Poles arriving in London over the years. We welcome people of all ages and abilities, with our youngest members starting from just 7 years old, and many members are still dancing several decades on. Our place in hearts of our members however goes beyond dance; the primary reason we exist is to bring people together. Passion, fun and a commitment to upholding Polish culture and traditions is at our core and we offer many other events and activities to bring the Polish community, and those interested in Polish culture together throughout the year.
Our group is unique in Ealing; we help to assimilate newly arrived Poles who come to Britain, and would like to be able to reach out further to people who might struggle with settling in new circumstances. We stress the importance of diversity and cultural awareness, teaching children and adults about the Polish heritage, whilst focusing on the physical aspect of dancing and engaging members with various dance related exercises.
Borough of Ealing has a highest population of Poles in England – around 25,000. The main challenge the youth in Ealing face is a lack of sense of belonging to a community that would understand their needs, provide contacts with peers from similar background who would understand their way of life. With 63% of households in Ealing facing one or more dimensions of deprivation, it is very important to provide, especially young people, with a network that will enable them to be a part of and to build a strong community. Apart from our core activity of a dance group, our charity provides career advice as well as other opportunities to meet people from a variety of backgrounds. W aim to provide a future of thriving, healthy young people who have a secure friendship network.
The funds will be used to:
- Explore and test new and innovative methods to raise funds for the organisation in order to allow us to expand our services to the community. This includes; reaching out to our database of 500 members to assess the feasibility and willingness of members to pay membership fees. We would devote time to understanding a funding model that would work for our charity Exploring and testing opportunities to raise funds from within the wider polish community in Ealing
- Using the existing database to understand the needs and opportunities for expanding our services to attract new young members to our organisation.
This is our first crowdfunding project and with your help we really hope to reach and even stretch our target.