Families, staff, and volunteers gathered in South East London to Salute our Sisters with crafts, music, and good food!

At Demelza, we’re pleased to have held our first-ever Black History Month celebration in October this year!

The event, which was held near Demelza South East London, brought together more than thirty families, staff, and volunteers from all backgrounds to celebrate the cultural contributions of the black community.

Following this year’s theme of Saluting our Sisters, guests were treated to book readings by two published children’s authors, Serena and Penny – both of whom have accessed Demelza’s services for their children.

Serena read her empowering book JamJam Can! which celebrates the unique life and superpowers of her son JamJam, who had complex needs but never let it stop him from achieving great things! 

"Demelza has always exceeded expectations. The drumming workshop, face art and African art painting were fantastic. The EXTRA special and unexpected Caribbean food platter was not only inviting to the eyes but satisfying for the pallet. 

Thank you for celebrating Black History, and for valuing our community not just in the month of October but all year long, it made me feel visible. Thank you for allowing me to share JamJam’s story and allowing his legacy to live on." said Serena.

Penny (who goes by the pen name Syfornia B) read the beautifully illustrated There’s a Wobble in My Head, which describes her son Zyan’s experiences with severe epilepsy from his perspective and in his own words. 

Activities and catering for the event were provided by black- and female-owned businesses – including face painting by NyGlorious Face Arts, an interactive and inclusive African drumming workshop by Dogon Music Worldwide, and an incredible lunch of Caribbean street food from Arawak.

There were plenty of arts and crafts too, with African mask-making and colouring sheets featuring strong black women from throughout history.

Ronnie, one of the organisers and Demelza’s family engagement lead, said: “I really enjoyed the journey as well as the day itself. Being able to go out of my comfort zone to support the creation of an event that has both taught me and excited me is a wonderful thing. Working with Amelia and Debbie from the nursing and care team at SEL has been a great piece of collaboration work. Listening to two book readings by two wonderful mums who are both published authors, and enjoying food and activities with local independent female-owned companies, really did help us to deliver an inclusive and educationally fun event.”

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