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Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum receives Louis Baylis Trust grant

A £1,000 grant from the Louis Baylis Trust has gone towards events promoting inter-faith dialogue and discussions on life’s big questions organised by the Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum (WAMCF).

Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Brahma Kumaris, Baha’is and humanists are all represented by WAMCF, which was founded 37 years ago by Karnail Pannu MBE, of the Guru Nanak Sat Sang Sabha Sikh temple in Maidenhead.

Representatives from a range of faiths and non-faiths are all given a chance to have open and respectful conversations in front of an audience about topics like the meaning of life and life after death in WAMCF’s dialogue events.

“It’s based on listening without judging, often a hard thing to do, really trying to understand the other person,” said WAMCF member Paul Samuels from the Soka Gakkai International UK Buddhist centre in Taplow.

WAMCF launched its Community Street Showcases last year, which gives community groups the chance to come together and showcase their activities.

The charity also organises an annual diversity display and dinner, which is held in Maidenhead Town Hall later in the year.

Paul says that one of WAMCF’s aims is to encourage social interaction between members of the community, particularly people who may suffer from loneliness and isolation.

“The most important thing is good, social interaction that’s face-to-face social interaction,” he said.

“Social media doesn’t pick up in the same way that face-to-face does.

“The key thing for me is building mutual respect and trust among diverse groups. It’s had an extraordinary impact on the community.”

Upcoming Community Street Showcases are being held in Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough this month. Visit www.wamcf.org/events/ for details.

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