All about us . . . .
Our vision: Plymouth as a thriving multicultural city: Children in the city able to meet and learn from people of many different faiths and cultures; building bridges, asking questions and learning through experience and interaction.
What is PCFCD?
Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity (PCFCD) is a unique charity based in Plymouth. PCFCD was established in 2001 and since its inception, has successfully created thousands of opportunities for children and young people to meet speakers from a variety of faiths and cultural backgrounds in schools and other settings.
These encounters allow children to experience the reality of religion as a way of living life and identify the values that all religions teach, thus enabling schools to address the statutory requirements of the 2014 “Engaging With Religion and World Views” Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, through lively and creative learning.
Through diversity they can see the common thread of human and spiritual values that underpin what it means to be human. These values ensure the future security and well-being of our local and international community and support the development of mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, key aspects of British values and community cohesion.
PCFCD is unique, as it is the only Charity that creates a single point of contact for education establishments to be connected with a wide variety of different Faiths and Cultures, within their own community. Helping create more opportunities for students and teachers, building resilience and more cohesive communities.
PCFCD is run by three part time staff; Sara, the Centre Manager; Yuki, the Finance and Administration Officer and Claire, the Education Officer.
Between us we currently organise over 500 hours of educational interactions each year. These are visits to schools by our trained Faith and Cultural Speakers; guided visits to places of worship and faith trails across the city.
Faith and Cultural Speakers
Our wonderful Faith and Cultural Speakers are members of the Plymouth Community and show how diverse Plymouth really is. We are very fortunate to have skilled representatives from all major faith groups and a wide range of cultural backgrounds here at PCFCD.
Our Speakers are the foundation of our work here in Plymouth, it is through them that we are able to confidently offer interactions to all schools across Plymouth, enabling students and teachers to learn firsthand about Faiths and Cultures, often being able to ask questions they might not otherwise feel able to ask.
This dispelling of myths and building of relationships, really does help create a more resilient Plymouth. Children remember these experiences and take this forward, developing community cohesion, increasing understanding and tolerance and making the Plymouth community a safer, more resilient place.
Our Speakers take part in approximately 9 hours of initial training; observed practical sessions within a classroom; continuing professional development opportunities such as SMSC awareness; are DBS checked and all agree to uphold the Interfaith Network Code of Conduct.
We ask for feedback from all visits from both the schools and our Speakers. This feedback helps to shape the services we offer, informing us that there is a demand for a new, more structured cycle of workshops.
Here is a very small sample of the feedback we receive from schools:
"I would just like to pass on our thanks for the speakers that came in to our school last week. The KS2 staff were extremely complimentary about the work that Rania did with the children and her approach with them. This has been a really positive experience for our school. "
Two of our Faith and Cultural Speakers and a member of staff from a Plymouth school we provide many different speakers for.
"Please could you convey our thanks to Jerry for a truly inspirational morning today at the Synagogue? Staff, parents and children had a brilliant morning and Jerry really brought Judaism alive for us all. It is the perfect way to show children how Judaism and Christianity link and what the differences are. They learnt so much more there than we could ever hope to convey in school. I will be back next autumn with another class of Y6s."
What we know:
These encounters give students the opportunity to find out for themselves about different Faiths and Cultures, and we want to do more! The money raised by you will help us to develop and deliver Workshops across the city and beyond! These interactive sessions will focus on events in the year, linking student's learning to events in different cultures and religions. Tying classroom learning, real, personal experiences and coverage in the media together to make these sessions even more meaningful and relevant to students.
One person that had a profound effect upon the students (and teachers) of Plymouth was Solly Irving.
Solly would visit Plymouth every year and over 16 years it is estimated that 30,000 people were able to hear him speak about his experiences. From being a Holocaust survivor and trying to find any remaining family members across Europe and Israel, to his incredible ability to survive. From these experiences and many others, Solly was able to convey his message of the living horrors he experienced to audiences across the city and urge them to bear witness to his testimony so that such atrocities will never happen again.
Solly's sad passing in 2017 has left a void in the first hand information the students of Plymouth are able to access. We know that he is very much missed and had a profound impact upon the people that were lucky enough to hear him speak.
With your help and support we will be able to offer new services to Schools in Plymouth and the surrounding area.
We need to build on the legacy left by Solly to the City of Plymouth. His appeal for all his listeners to bear witness to his testimony and help to prevent this happening ever again has given us the impetus to develop sessions for Plymouth students based upon his life.
This new series of workshops and trainings based on the life of Solly Irving, will continue with Solly's messages of hope, friendship and bearing witness to his testimony.
Our new sessions will not only be limited to the life and messages from an extraordinary, ordinary holocaust survivor. We also wish to develop a programme of workshops based upon feedback from the schools. these interactive workshops will reflect the different Faiths and Cultures in the city of Plymouth.
We also wish to develop a calendar of creative, interactive workshops. Offered at distinct intervals throughout the year, these workshops will build upon student's understanding of topics, answer questions and encourage deeper thinking in all areas of R.E.
These workshops will enable students to link first hand, events in the wider world with people in their community in a safe environment. Prompting questions, queries and generating a deeper, more relevant understanding of their community. this impactive education will go on to enable the students of today - the adults of the future, to recognise that there is often more than one side to a story, to develop better relationships, more cohesive communities and a greater tolerance and acceptance of differences. Understanding that we need to identify our similarities to also appreciate our differences.
We are proud to have the support of many different people in our community. Their support in terms of their knowledge and willingness to help continue this vital work is wonderful. we do however need strong financial support in order to continue our unique work and create these fantastic new opportunities for students in Plymouth and the surrounding area.
Supporters of PCFCD
Making a better world
This increased level of engagement, this building of bridges between the young people of our city and people of different backgrounds can only help to make a more cohesive community. By enabling young people to ask questions in a safe and supportive space, directly of people that are different to themselves, they get to hear firsthand how this particular Faith or Culture views life in Plymouth and how their Faith or Culture affects their daily life. Questions that they might otherwise turn to uninformed sources online to answer.
A BIG 'Thank you' from us, to you for your support
Our Centre Staff, Faith Speakers and Supporters at our 2018 Re-dedication in the Lord Mayor's Parlour.
Reaching our Target
If we should reach and exceed our target, we would love to also develop a 'sensory artefacts collection'. These collections will be loaned out to schools to support different topics in RE. they will help teachers by providing a wide array of artefacts to encourage deeper thinking and also make topics accessible to students that find some topics more challenging.