Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association

This year will mark 50 years since the South Asian community in Uganda was forced to flee the country by Idi Amin in 1972. Despite the city council trying to discourage them from coming to the city, many settled in Leicester.

It’s this story we want you to share with us.

 The Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association has its own connections with the Ugandan Asian Story. Mr Shantilal Makwana who came to Leicester along with thousands of other Ugandan Asians in the early 1970s became a driving force in helping to evolve BNCHA into the largest fully mutual co-operative housing association in the UK.  He played a pivotal role in the campaign to save much of Belgrave’s housing from demolition, leading to the formation of the co-operative in 1975.

He then helped set up and ran our co-operative becoming Chairman in 1979 and holding this position for 33 years. Under his leadership, our co-operative grew and flourished to become the strong, independent not for profit organisation it is today.

Many refugee families lived in our homes and many still do. Were you or your family one of them? Do you still live in Belgrave and in one of our properties? Do you remember the families arriving in the city and seeing new faces in the area? What was your reaction to the new arrivals?

We want you to share your story and pictures with us. Especially if you have any photos of you or your family in one of our properties.

We are holding a couple of sessions to which you’re invited to.

In association with the Documentary Media Centre and the Peepul Centre as well as our sponsor -Pinnacle Group, we would love for you to share your story with us so we can share it with others.  

Friday 8th July – Peepul Centre, Orchardson Way, Leicester – 10:00 – 3:00pm

Tuesday 19th July – Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association – 131, Loughborough Road, Leicester, LE4  5LQ – 6:00 – 8:00pm

If you would like to come and join us, please let us know.

Contact Rupal Rajani – 07936 028730 or email rupal@belgravecoop.org.uk

Abbey Park Uganda 50 Event

To commemorate and celebrate the arrival of Ugandan Asians in the UK 50 years ago a variety of activities will be hosted live on two stages in Leicester’s Abbey Park on Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st July 2022.

This FREE event is organised by Sabras Radio and will include:

  • Audio-visual presentations from around the world
  • Stories and presentations from ex-refugees and dignitaries
  • Historic film footage from 1972 and beyond
  • Live links to Uganda today
  • Excellent food court to include beverages and a bar
  • Several prize-winning competitions
  • And much more…… 

Further details are available on the event website – https://sabrasuganda50.com/

Community Drop-in at Sabras Radio

Join us on Sunday 13th February between 13:00-15:00 at Sabras Radio for our next community drop-in – part of Uganda to UK 50 Archive.

It’s also #WorldRadioDay so we shall explore how radio played an important role in the daily lives of those arriving in Leicester in 1972.

We look forward to meeting everyone who would like to share their Uganda story with us….bring along any photos or anything you wish….a chance to get your story told.

We can discuss your participation in our podcast series and the story being broadcast on a series of special Uganda 50 programmes on Sabras Radio as we head to the 50th anniversary in October 2022.

John discussed the event with BBC Radio Leicester Presenter Summaya Mughal on Wednesday 9th February at 11:30am (6.41 mins) – listen here

Hope to see you there.

Rupal Rajani & John Coster

Sabras Radio Community Drop-in

Please join us in person at an event kindly hosted by our partners, Sabras Radio.

Sunday 14th November 2 – 5pm

We look forward to meeting everyone who would like to share their Uganda story with us….bring along any photos or anything you wish….a chance to get your story told. We can discuss your participation in our podcast series and the story being broadcast on a series of special Uganda 50 programmes on Sabras Radio as we head to the 50th anniversary in October 2022. Hope to see you there.

All content will be used in our Uganda to UK 50 Archive project hosted by Rupal Rajani & John Coster of the Documentary Media Centre.

Details on our Facebook Event – click here

Filming Starts on Documentary

We started filming the Uganda 50 documentary on Thursday 5th August 2021.

Rupal Rajani came along to the Documentary Media Centre to give her first filmed interview, sharing details of her families arrival in Leicester nearly 50 years ago and some milestone memories along the way.

Local documentary filmmaker, Jurian Visser has joined our project team and we are delighted he will be leading on all the interviews over the coming months.

Roll on the next interviewee…..

Uganda 50 Cookbook

So here are the details for those of you willing to share your Ugandan recipes with us to create a Ugandan/Asian cookbook. Please share and get in touch with your favourite dishes that you’ve adopted and adapted along with your memories of them back in Uganda.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please click the link for a pdf version of the document: Uganda 50 Cookbook

Listen to Rupal’s radio interview discussing this exciting project (7.38 mins)

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