Our Regular Activities & Events.

CARNIVAL WEEKENDER 2022

The annual celebration started as African Diaspora Day in August 2017 with the aim of uniting African communities in Milton Keynes and also offering them a platform to showcase their culture to a wider audience.This spectacular event at Campbell Park also aims to support and inspire young people by educating them about their own identity and heritage.

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CRICKET JERK & FAMILY FUN DAY

2017 FOTC launched its first Cricket Family Fun Day at Campbell Park Milton Keynes as part of a weekend of celebration marking its 10th anniversary and MK 50th. This event was a great success, and a great day out for the whole family. The cricket match was between Lashings All Stars vs Milton Keynes.

The event included a variety of delicious Caribbean food catered by Blue Mountain Café; Children’s entertainment, including Bouncy Castle and face painting, foot stomping entertainment by DJ Mista Fixit who made it difficult for the people to leave at closing.

The Mayor, David Hopkins, gave a speech and said how proud he was to be part the day. FOTC has been improving life chances for the past 10 years by supporting other charities; i.e. Diabetes UK, Willen Hospice, Haiti Earthquake Appeal, Prostate Cancer UK, Dominica Hurricane, Erica appeal, etc. We hope to continue doing so for the next 10 years and beyond.

In 2019 we will host another great cricket game featuring some ex international players from both the West Indies, the Indian sub convenient and the UK.

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HEALTH FORUMS

FOTC’s Health Forums in associations with the major health agencies helps individuals find their own health pathway by the dispersing of relevant material and people experiences
As health concerns and disparities reflect aversely on the Caribbean and African Community (CAC), FOTC takes up the challenge to make positive impacts in the Milton Keynes community.

Our Health Forums’ agenda focuses on barriers to care and other disparities affecting CAC patients, as well as clinical take-aways.  Awareness-building seminars address the question “How do I keep well?,” and attendees will learn how to make positive changes from a professional health panel including: Prostate Cancer UK, NHS, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK.

The forums are generally fun and educational. It covers CAC health concerns, eating well and a mobile Diabetes testing centre. 

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SPORTS ACTIVITES

GOF MK: Football, Netball and Swimming Clubs

Our sports activities are aimed at getting young people off the streets and bringing them together for social and cultural integration. It also helps them to learn anger management skills, team-work, listening,respect and time keeping. Participating in a club also helps to keep the young people safe and teaches them about anti-social behavior. The Football club meets every Friday evening

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IRON SHARPENS IRON

A project which focuses on the relentless Socio-economic and psycho-cultural pressures, as well as the unforgiving Structural Racism faced by men of African descent.

The program also explores factors that cause alienation between men and their families and communities, while highlighting the importance of productive (i.e., expressive, attentive and communicative) men.

On the main, the program focuses, and is aimed at building and strengthening Cohesive Communities through the spirit of brotherhood and the African philosophy of Ubuntu.

We further challenge men to master themselves and exercise roles of leadership in all aspects of their lives, be it our families and communities, as well as towards each other.

Furthermore, we will explore the onslaught of psychological warfare we face as men of African descent. This includes the prejudice and discrimination that we come across by just being men of a darker skin.

We will bust the myth that: strong men don't need emotional and physical support. Also, we will explore the fact that no man is an island: that asking for help is a sign of strength.

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DISASTER RELIEF

When disaster strikes, government agencies are just as affected as ordinary citizens, and consequently, may not be able to quickly engage with citizens or neighboring entities to implement recovery. This is particularly the case with fast-moving, mega storms that may hit multiple countries in succession, and restrict the movement of goods and services by air or sea.

Since experts warn of more frequent and powerful storms in the coming years, it’s important to quickly identify lessons learned from recent disasters, and implement improvements that not only save lives, but ensure better post storm access to clean water, food, medicines, and also electricity, transport, and safe infrastructure.

The Caribbean is in a unique position to lead the way because of its long history of overcoming such disasters, and its resilient people. But the region cannot do it alone.

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SUPPLEMENTARY EDUCATION

EMS The Education Arm of F.O.T.C.
Friends of the Caribbean (F.O.T.C.) is a registered charity in Milton Keynes. Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2017 . One of their main initiatives is a Supplementary Education Program. EMS /English Maths Science is the educational arm of F.O.T.C., EMS is able to provide superb tutoring services and excellent resources to students in the Milton Keynes community at reduced rates.


EMS Tutoring Milton Keynes, provides superb one to one tutoring assistance, helping students pass exams and significantly improving their academic grades in 11plus, KS2 to GCSE 'A' level, English, Maths and Science. We are not a franchise operation, but a local community charity group helping students from the local schools.
EMS' students obtain excellent results in 11 plus & GCSE A' level, English, Maths and Science. We’d love the opportunity to tutor your child and show why our exceptional service sets us apart from the rest of the field.

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AFRICAN FORUM

Born out of the African Diaspora Day, the African Forum is aimed at bridging the gap between the Police and the African community. The Forum gives the African community a platform to positively engage with the Police and meets three times a month.

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CARIBBEAN FILM FESTIVAL

FOTC Caribbean Film Festival, produced in partnership with the Milton Keynes Gallery, is now in its 3rd year and is the UK newest and most robust celebration of Caribbean cinema in the industry.

The last event was opened by Milton Keynes Mayor, Councillor Martin Petchey, who although had seen “Fire in Babylon” remarked it was a treat for cricket fans who will be thrilled to this nostalgic look back at one of sport’s greatest teams. The two featured films shown were, “Chrissy”, an inspirational film about a disadvantaged school girl who is bullied and discriminated against, but who fought the odds and triumphed securing much needed help from her family and her school and “Barrow: Freedom Fighter”, a passionate story about the courage of one man who relentlessly preached a gospel of economic self-reliance and self-respect to the people of his native country Barbados and beyond. 

It’s an exciting time to be involved in Caribbean film. The industry is on the cusp of an evolution. Increased access to information and equipment, along with a renewed passion to tell their stories for themselves, has resulted in a Caribbean cinematic renaissance.

FOTC is dedicated to Embracing and Promoting the Lush Caribbean Culture through the Eye of The Director’s Lens. Our mission is to promote, support, increase and heighten interest and awareness of Caribbean films, filmmakers, screen writers, producers and directors in the Caribbean Basin and the Diaspora year-round, focusing particularly in June.

Film Festival – An Annual Event – During June of every year, we endeavor to provide our audiences with films which highlight the rich Caribbean Culture; our customs, our beliefs, our stories, our history! The Festival will provide opportunities for our diverse audiences to not only screen several films from many Caribbean nations, but also where possible, interact with the film makers, producers, writers and directors in a series of Meet-and-Greets and interviews throughout the Milton Keynes area.

It is our hope that through The Milton Keynes Caribbean Film Festival, we will foster greater understanding and support of our history, make positive contributions to the Arts and to our society, while sharing the Caribbean’s distinctive charms and unique historical and modern perspectives through the artistic eyes of our humble filmmakers.

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WOMEN'S CLUB

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month originated in the United States but is now an important part of the UK’s cultural calendar.

 

Black History Month is designed to recognise history, experiences and accomplishments of black people. In 1976, the President of the United States officially designated February as Black History Month. The annual celebration of achievements by black people is also held in Canada and here in the United Kingdom in October.

Milton Keynes is becoming one of the fastest growing diverse community in the UK.  This is due to the influx of its residents from different background and culture.   It is therefore important that FOTC be the fore-runner in celebrating and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of our people, recognizing those in the past who have made great achievements and those who are alive and making huge differences in their community and the world at large.

 

Locally our focus is on African people within Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. In October 2017 GOF MK organised an event where African people from the Police, NHS, Education, Music and Politics were invited to give accounts of their journeys with the aim of inspiring young people. We hope to arrange an array of activities each year

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

With Jamaica identified as having the best performing stock exchange in the world says a lot about the Caribbean now being a very good prospect for investment. 

Please make contact with us to help identify opportunities for business here in the UK and across the Caribbean.

bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-01-18/the-jamaican-stock-exchange-is-the-world-s-best-performing-market

Ubuntu diaspora business breakfast club.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Befriending & Mentoring
The growth of the Caribbean Community within Milton Keynes and surrounding areas has highlighted the need for social representation.  An analysis of the PLASC school census data indicates 19% come from a minority ethnic group. The proportion alters with age with a higher proportion of minority ethnic groups in Nursery and Reception years, accounting for 21% of all pupils. Of those of Primary School age 20% come from minority ethnic groups, and 17.4% of those of Secondary school. The number of minority children at risk of social exclusion and underachieving is increasing hence a concerted, structured and community approach to address this issue is necessary. (This is supported by Dr Steve Strand report looking into the differences in academic achievement between black Caribbean 14-year-olds and their white peers”- Sept 2008)

Aims and Objectives
We aim to improve the life chances of children between the ages of 11 to 16 years in full time education and who are at risk as identified through our partner organisations.  To achieve our aim, we intend to;

  • Provide additional guidance, to smooth the process for students to achieve their potential through full participation in education.

  • Creates positive relationships, increases self-awareness and raises self-esteem. 

  • Improves basic skills and develops interpersonal and social skills. 

  • Creates an educational environment of improved student development and retention.  

  • To empower students to make informed decisions helping to close achievement gaps. 

  • Prepare a time table of regular face to face meetings with individual students as referred by the school’s pastoral teams.

  • By supporting students to maximise learning opportunities.

  • By increasing access and engagement in activities that are not commonplace for them.​

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AFRICAN & CARIBBEAN BREAKFAST CLUB

The Breakfast Club runs twice a month from Great Linford Parish Council in St Leger Court. Its aims are to provide a platform for people to voice issues that affect them, promote one-to-one conversations and offer support to build community cohesion.

Socialise

  • Share skills, experiences, culture and knowledge;

  • Discuss issues affecting our communities;

  • Be signposted to advice organisations.

Regular guest speakers

  • Access support networks;

  • An opportunity to take action on issues affecting us.

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ANNUAL CHARITY BALL

The Annual Charity Ball is one of Milton Keynes’ most exclusive charity events, attracting up to 500 guests from London and the surrounding areas

his Elegant Black Tie affair is usually sold out; guests include: Milton Keynes Mayor, Caribbean High Commissioners and other dignitaries.  Cocktails are served on arrival followed by a three-course meal with wine, live entertainment, DJ, live auction and an opportunity to win great raffle prizes. 

The line-up general includes a headline entertainer from one of the Caribbean islands and local Caribbean artists. 

In order to ensure the success of this very important fundraiser, we seek, sponsors, auction items, raffle prizes, or donations.  It is a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their brand, or product to a captive Caribbean audience.  Sponsorship packages are available to suit any budget. 

Our Annual Charity Ball is an exclusive way to entertain clients, or to have a special night out with friends. 

Each year, we look forward in welcoming familiar and new faces in supporting FOTC.  We are very grateful for our continued sponsorship support.

Proceeds raised are used to improve life chances of our young people within Milton Keynes community through our supplementary Education/Mentoring Programme and to support our Health Awareness Forum.  

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AFRICA'S UNTOLD STORY

This project centers on emphasising the narrative of people of African descent.

The project is designed for everyone who has a keen interest in learning about the REAL history of the world. Also, about the role that African continent and it's people's contribution in our world.

The program largely focuses on combating self-hate through African story telling - enhancing self esteem, while restoring pride in African history and heritage. We further explore the role of identity in a need for belonging, self - affirmation, and in search for a meaningful life.

The Untold Stories is also aimed at reducing knife and gun crime in our community. From the research we conducted this year -  identity, or lack of the understanding of one's self, roots and heritage came up as one of the main drivers of antisocial behaviours.

So, we focus on how identity is related to an individual's understanding of themselves as a psychological entity and much more.

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Q AND A SESSION WITH POLICE

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MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS

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