The marked increase in the number of Africans living and working in the borough brought about the realisation that a community group for Africans would be necessary.

So, nearly four years ago, some dedicated Africans living in Thurrock came together to form a group for peoples of African origin, and named it the Thurrock African Group. A community organisation that aims to enable us develop common interests, share information and experiences through networking and support mechanisms.

It is expected that TAG delivers activities that will involve organising educational projects and presenting social and cultural events to promote diversity and tackle inequality and social exclusion.

We recognised that working jointly with the Council and other organisations can help improve the quality of provision of services to African people. TAG needs to be involved in processes that will facilitate our input into decision making bodies such as the Council and Health service providers, so that these organisations can better understand and meet the needs and aspirations of African people in the borough.

We have held successful awareness seminars on business and health. These and future events are informed by the group’s understanding that any attempt to ensure diversity has to go beyond issues of colour, race, and gender, but to include creating an enabling environment beneficial to taking advantage of opportunities on a level playing field, and, being able to contribute effectively, adding value to the wider society. The Business Awareness Seminar was mainly an effort to give the local minority ethnic communities the access to information on opportunities, making the claim to diversity in Thurrock become more realistic and meaningful.

You would understand that to continue to provide a focal point for the promotion of our cultural, social, economic and religious needs, and to influence the provision of services for Africans in Thurrock, TAG needs more people from the African community to become members.

To join the Thurrock African Group, please contact Gladys Zakana on 01375 385316 or email: thurrockafricangroup@yahoo.co.uk, or complete this form and post it to Thurrock African Group, c/o TRUST, 2nd Floor, Thameside Complex, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex RM17 5DX.

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