I have recently made a new podcast for New Internationalist on the FAN network…
Nearly two years ago my partner persuaded me to go with him to a FAN meeting in Cardiff. He had stumbled across the group through work but had become hooked. I wasn’t keen to give up some of my Saturday morning but decided to give it a go eventually and was glad I did.
Friends And Neighbours (FAN) groups began as a network of people making a difference through the power of conversation. When fear and anger towards the ‘stranger’ next door is often promoted by politicians and the mainstream media, FAN successful brings people together, not through some kind of top-down ‘cohesion’ exercise but through community run groups which just ask people to talk on a subject for five minutes. Nothing more.
Although FAN began in Cardiff, the idea has now spread as far as Pakistan, all with the same structure and principles. For this podcast I spoke to FAN fans in England, Wales and Pakistan.