Community group celebrate 20 years in Tottenham

Alem Gebrehiwot, founder of Embrace UK with volunteers

Alem Gebrehiwot, founder of Embrace UK with volunteers

First published in News by , Reporter

The organiser of a community group admits that she had no idea the group would be celebrating 20 years.

Alem Gebrehiwot, founder of Embrace UK, started the group as a place for Ethiopians in Tottenham to have a hot meal and provide education on welfare benefits, housing and health issues.

Twenty years on and the group has now expanded to all cultures in the area and is thriving as a community group.

The group celebrated it’s achievement with an open day at its base in the Selby Centre, in Selby Road, Tottenham, offering plenty of Ethiopian style food amongst other events.

Mrs Gebrehiwot told the Haringey Independent that she could not believe how far the group had come since 1994.

She said: “It is a joy to see, this company is like my own baby and I have watched it grow up and now has so many people involved.

“I never thought I’d see the day when we had so many different cultures using our facility, its brilliant.”

The group currently has 20 members of staff and approximately 40 to 50 volunteers from Monday to Friday.

Aiming to narrow the gap between society and people who are socially neglected, Mrs Gebrehiwot admits that there has been cultural tension down the years.

She said: “When we first started there was tension towards many Ethiopians in the area but it is such a multi-cultural place now that we do have this problem.

“We have embraced so many people who had nowhere else to turn to. We hope that in the future we can move onto the High Street and be at the centre of Tottenham, where we belong.”

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