Phoenix puts diversity on the map.

Updated: 27 October 2016 at 10:56am

More than 400 residents celebrated diversity in the borough by coming together for our biggest diversity event to date. 

Guests at Diversity Day were given a warm welcome from a local samba band as they arrived at the free event which raises awareness of diversity in the area.

Visitors enjoyed cultural performances, dance and music displays and were given the opportunity to take part in the salsa showcase at the end of the event.

Activities on the day included belly dancing, Bollywood dancing, jazz playing, African drumming and a Chinese dance group, which took place at The Green Man and St John’s Church in Catford with support from the Big Lottery Fund. 

Local groups and charities, including the Lewisham Disability Coalition and anti-hate campaign were also part of the day, which has been running since 2011 to highlight the diversity of the community, and to encourage understanding and acceptance.

Paralympian archery hero Tania Nadarajah spoke at the event and shared her personal story about her journey to Rio despite her accident in 2009 that left her paralysed from the chest down. Tania who is ranked no 1 in the UK in her category received a huge amount of support from the crowd as she spoke about her determination in sport.

Tania Nadarajah said: “I am so pleased to be part of this community event. If my story has a positive impact on one person, and encourages them to overcome obstacles and use sport as an outlet then I’m happy!"

Phoenix chief executive, Jim Ripley said “I’m pleased to see the community come together when there have increased tensions in society. As a community based housing association, we want our residents to be proud of where they live, and we know that Lewisham’s diversity is what makes our area so special.”

Phoenix resident Jade Carthy said: "This was the first time of coming to this type of event and I really enjoyed it. I like that there are activities to involve the kids and I got my face painted too!"

Thank you to everyone who came along and helped to make the event our most successful so far.


Two residents enjoying belly dancing with the local belly dancer.

 The Lewisham Disability Coalition speaking with a resident.



Its open mic as a guest at Diversity Day takes to the stage.

Guests get involved in the salsa showcase in front of the audience in the Hub.