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Theresa May speaks at Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum diversity dinner

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Dignitaries including the Prime Minister lined up to praise the work of a charity that fosters understanding and friendship between faiths in the borough.

Theresa May was speaking at the annual diversity dinner of the Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum (WAMCF), which has been working to strengthen trust and respect between the different faiths since 1981.

The event, held in the Desborough Suite at Maidenhead Town Hall on Sunday evening, saw 90 people from different faiths and cultures cele-brate the achievements of the forum, which include interfaith events, conferences, activities, workshops, and youth and women’s initiatives aimed at promoting cohesion and understanding.

Guests, who included the mayors of the Royal Borough and Slough, and the deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Ramnik Saund, were also able to browse displays from all the major faiths.

Mrs May praised the work of the forum in providing practical support for community cohesion as a great example of what can be achieved.

She said: “That has underpinned what has happened here in Maidenhead – people coming together and just getting on. That has built a really strong interfaith community.”

The Prime Minister singled out the forum’s youth initiatives as particularly important, saying: “We want a new generation to take on this mantle and move it forward. That is one of the great strengths of our community.”

The Mayor of the Royal Borough, Cllr John Lenton, told the gathering that if only other communities and nations worked together as people did in the borough there would not be a need for the remembrance events seen earlier that day.

The Mayor of Slough Cllr Ishrat Shah praised a joint initiative by the forum, the Slough Faith Partnership and Wind-sor Humanists strengthening connections bet-ween the three towns.

Karnail Pannu, chairman of WAMCF since it began, told the audience the forum continued to go from strength to strength and they ‘should never doubt the power of a small group of thoughtful citi-zens to change the world’.

The third series of WAMCF Dialogues – a free programme of discussion events – will start in the new year and a new initiative to strengthen friendship and trust between the youth in Maidenhead and Windsor will also kick off next year.

More information on WAMCF can be found at www.wamcf.org

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