The Mosaic in Wales Project
Mosaic was a national project, led by the Campaign for National Parks, with the aim to build sustainable links between black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and the National Parks and Youth Hostels Association (YHA).
It was developed in response to evidence that although about 10% of the population is of a BME background, only about 1% of visitors to National Parks are from BME backgrounds. Ethnic minorities face specific barriers stopping them from accessing the National Parks. This includes perceived barriers such as not knowing about access rights; social barriers such as not feeling welcome; and physical barriers such as lack of affordable public transport.
Mosaic worked to decrease these barriers, to try and ensure that everybody knows about the National Parks, what they offer, and have an equal opportunity to enjoy them.
Pen y Pass (© SNPA)
The way Mosaic worked was by supporting influential leaders from BME communities to become “Community Champions” promoting the National Parks and the YHA in their communities.
Mosaic also helped the National Park Authorities make changes to their organisations that will help them reach BME audiences.
Mosaic in Wales was a partnership between the Campaign for National Parks, the YHA and the three National Park Authorities in Wales: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. The project was supported by the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places programme, the National Park Authorities and the YHA.
Zobia Zoman, Brecon Beacons Community Champion’s words are an inspiration for us all:
Reflecting on Mosaic in Wales - Zobia Zaman, 22 December 2014 “While sitting in the youth hostel in Llanberis and listening to the local folk singer as he told the stories about the Welsh fairies, I remembered my grandmother back in a little village in Pakistan. Her stories were same, about the fairies, the ghosts and the good and the evil. It made me realise that as humans we share the same nature and all the prejudices about the colour of our skin, language and religion etc are secondary. During these visits to the National Parks, I saw people with completely different backgrounds and cultures, becoming friends, helping and caring for each other. In current times where threats of racism and cultural differences surround us, bringing people together is one of the major successes of Mosaic. I believe that in life we have different windows around us. Once opened these windows can reveal what is on the other side. Mosaic had successfully opened up a window between the BME community and The National Parks.”
Although the Mosaic project has now come to end the Authority is still keen to continue the connection with the Community Champions and BME Communities.