DIVERSE communities from Crewe have come together to share their life experiences at a multi-faith conference.

Cheshire East Council hosted the event, at South Cheshire College, on Saturday to give residents the chance to have an open conversation on life in the borough – with a particular focus on race, religion, diversity and access to services.

Cllr Rachel Bailey, CEC council leader, attended the conference alongside keynote speaker Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, of the Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network, who shared valuable advice from the group’s work in the city.

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, CEC cabinet member for health, also spoke at the event.

“Everyone in Cheshire East has the right to feel safe and to live healthy and peaceful lives,” she said.

“There are now more than 100 languages spoken by residents in our diverse community, so it’s vital that we enable people to share their knowledge and experiences to see where we can work better together.

“I think it’s important to know that we don’t need to be experts to contribute to improving things in our community.

“Being a mother, carer and retired nurse all help me to bring my unique perspective to supporting local communities and everyone has something to contribute. So, please, do get involved.”

Elena Cholakova-Pereira, a volunteer community connector, gave a powerful talk about the barriers people face when trying to access services.

Jubeyar Ahmed, secretary of the Shah Jalal Mosque in Crewe, has lived in Crewe for more than 20 years and spoke of the many nationalities of people who are Muslim and attend the mosque.

Jubeyar encouraged everyone to help improve community relations by celebrating local diversity and enjoying life together in Crewe.

Rev Jennie Wakefield, chairman of Crewe Churches Together, shared experiences of church staff and volunteers helping homeless people in the area, and how volunteers always step up and support people who need help.

All of the conversation and feedback from the faith and hope multi-faith conference will form part of a community cohesion action plan, which is being led by CEC.

For more information on how to improve relationships in your community, contact Loreen Chikwira, community cohesion manager for CEC, by calling 01270 685880 or email communities@cheshireeast.gov.uk