Last chance to vote for £50,000 worth of funding for project at Aspex art gallery, Gunwharf

Majid Dhana at an art workshop at Aspex, Gunwharf
Majid Dhana at an art workshop at Aspex, Gunwharf
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There’s not long left to vote for an art project which helps the refugee community in Portsmouth.

You only have until midday today to vote for Aspex as part of this year’s The People’s Projects.

The gallery is calling for your vote to secure £50,000 of National Lottery funding to support Portsmouth’s refugee and asylum seeker community.

The project, Welcome, will support people through art – developing new skills, English language capability, as well as confidence and self-esteem, while becoming part of the wider local community.

Majid Dhana is a poet living in Portsmouth who runs the art workshops. He said: ‘I’ve been working with the local asylum and refugee community for the last four years – working with amazing adults and children that have come from places where pain and darkness is all around, where families are broken and children are not allowed to be children.

‘No one puts their child in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.

‘There was a time in my life when I had no direction. I had this feeling of loneliness all around me. I would often ask myself: How do you escape the shadow when you no longer see the light? How do you keep on swimming when you struggle just to float? How do you keep on sailing when the storm up turns your boat? How do you keep breathing? How do you get through?

‘But life has a strange way of doing things and Aspex Gallery came into my life. Since working with them, alongside Journeys Festival International Portsmouth, I was given hope and structure, removing that feeling of emptiness and replacing it with confidence, nurturing my poetry and showing me that I was part of Portsmouth.’

Place your vote by visiting thepeoplesprojects.org.uk, and selecting Welcome under the Meridian West region. People can vote once per region and will need a valid email address.