Northern Friends Circle

Northern Friends Circle

Northern Friends Circle is a small grassroots club that was established in July 1978 by Bengalis living in the North East. It currently has 50 members of all ages.

The group was set up initially for Bengalis nostalgic for their homeland that had a passion to maintain cultural ties, thereby giving its users a common sense of identity.

The group's main activities centre on dance, drama and song and over the past 30 years it has organised more than 150 events to showcase its work. These are often supported by Northern Arts, Easington Council, Dance City and Durham County Council.

Last year the group celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, famous for his contribution to music and drama.

They combined forces with other organisations, which included Teeside Bengali Institute and Bangladeshi Overseas Ladies Organisation and together presented a musical spectacular that included an exhibition honouring Rabindranath Tagore.

They received funding of £1,500 from the David and Barbara Watson, Healthier Durham and Sir Paul and Lady Nicholson. This enabled them to keep the costs of tickets down, thereby making the event accessible to a wider audience.

The event brought different communities and cultures together under one roof and the response they received was tremendous. These types of occasions promote a better understanding of the multicultural British society.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the donors and we believe that without their help the event would not have been successful. The grant gave the opportunity to increase awareness amongst the local community which helped enrich their talents.”