Behind the scenes of Refugee Festival Scotland with Glendale Women’s Café

Glendale Women's Cafe
Glendale Women's Cafe

Refugee Festival Scotland is fast approaching and in the run up to this year’s festival, I’ve been out meeting groups that embody our theme of solidarity.

The Glendale Women’s Café is quite a unique place. Bright artwork covers the walls and floral homemade tablecloths adorn the tables. Yet this is no ordinary local cafe.

The weekly café brings together the women from the Pollokshields community in Glasgow. Women from all backgrounds, including refugees, visit the bright and colourful space for a free tea, cake and a good chat.

I visited the café recently to meet some of the women that attend and volunteer every week. The café hosts free classes and events for women in the local area, and when I visited they were busy creating herbal home remedies. 

It is clear the café acts as a support network for those that attend.

I met two of the women that often visit for tea and a natter. The café dominates the conversation, and it is clear that the space and woman that attend mean a lot to them…

Asia Msuya, Tanzania, East Africa

“I go to the café for socialising and to learn new things like sewing and art. The café makes me feel like part of a community, very welcomed.

“I have lived in Glasgow for just under 18 months yet I feel like I have lived here forever, that’s what the café made me feel.

“At the café you can be yourself. Not a mother or a wife, or a social worker. Just you.

“I can sum up what the café has got in one word: Solidarity.”

Mahreen Imtiaz, Pakistan

“I go to the Café so I can see lots of friends and local people and chat about a lot of different subjects, whilst at the same time having a cup of tea.

“The café makes me feel quite comfortable. Sometimes you just want to chat with somebody. You get fed up with staying at home with the same routine.

“There are lots of people from different backgrounds, and it’s a really friendly atmosphere there.”

Glendale Women’s Café are involved in our Festival Launch on Saturday 18 June, 12pm-4pm at Hidden Gardens and Tramway. The event is free and open to all. No booking necessary.

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