Bradford launches its “People Library”
Bradford’s People Library is an ever-growing and fascinating collection of human ‘books’, all with their own interesting, surprising and inspirational stories to tell. Showcasing both the diversity and commonality within our district, they build a library of our resilience, community, achievements and our true Bradfordian spirit!
An initiative from Bradford Council’s Bradford for Everyone programme, The People Library will be launched on 12 November at www.bradfordforeveryone.co.uk where you will be able to read, watch, and share the inspiring stories featured. Highlights will include RDC Soldier who made Bradford his home after fleeing the Congo where he had been forced to become a child soldier. He tells his story of being mentored in music at MAPA Studios on Manchester Road, going on to win Bradfactor with his first band “LoSouls”, and from there springboarding to creating his own style of music – “Lingala HipHop” which is sung in English, French and Lingala. RDC says:
“Coming here was very hard, I had to learn how to survive in a new system and culture. I saw lots of people in my community getting into crime and drugs because they couldn’t see another way, but I knew I had another path. I followed my music ambitions by taking one day at a time, this is the only way to build success, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. I learned this from my mentors and I’m proud to be able to pass it onto the next generation of young people who look up to me”
RDC Soldier has recently released his single Unite in his signature Lingala style and a film of his journey is in the pipeline.
Another inspiring story comes from Dharmesh Mistry who has been a Student Assessor for West Yorkshire Police. As the pandemic hit and the country was locked down Dharmesh saw his key worker colleagues struggling to cope with lengthy shifts and added pressures. Being an active member of the Hindu community he was able to coordinate the preparation and distribution of meals for exhausted colleagues over 12 weeks. Alongside his fellow volunteers they cooked and served over 3000 hot meals for paramedics, police and other frontline staff. Dharmesh said;
“All I wanted, was my colleagues to be felt valued and also that we all appreciated the amazing work they were doing under these difficult and scary times, and thanks to the support of the Bradford Hindu Council and it’s community, it was delivered and accepted with such positivity, bringing community engagement to the forefront. ”
Co-lead for Bradford People Library Chloe Brown “We’ve worked hard to bring together diverse stories which show the fascinating library of people which make up Bradford District. We have inspiring stories from people making Bradford their home after escaping domestic violence to Bradford people born and bred who are the first in their family to go to university.”
Bradford’s People Library launches online on 12 November at www.bradfordforeveryone.co.uk
and will feature a selection of stories from a diverse range of Bradfordians. The bookshelf will then continue to grow to become a sustainable ‘Bradford bookshelf’. If you have an inspiring or stereotype-breaking story to tell then Bradford People Library would love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org