Towards the end of each year we invite self-employed and volunteer linguists to join staff and trustees at Community Base to share food, catch up and celebrate what we have collectively achieved. Some food is provided but what really make this event special is that everyone brings a dish they have prepared or sourced to share with the party. Food is often what brings people together and this event speaks to our values of Community and Participation.
We have held these celebrations every winter for over 20 years but had to pivot to remote gatherings during the pandemic. We started in person celebrations again in 2022 and when we gathered on the 13th December 2023 we were overjoyed to welcome more than 20 linguists along with our staff team.
Bera our new Service Coordinator had this to say about the celebration:
“The winter gathering at SIS was a fantastic opportunity for me as a new Service Coordinator to fully immerse myself in the community of linguists and their culture. I had the chance to speak to smiley faces and not only get to know them but also learn about their cultures, language is a huge part of culture, and that is at the heart of what we do here at SIS.
I was surprised to acquire knowledge about rare languages such as Tamil and Sinhalese and to learn about the broad differences of the Arabic dialects spoken in different regions such as Egypt and Morocco, just to name a few examples. This invaluable information will allow me to understand a bit more the similarities and differences to help build bridges between our Service providers and the service users, which is one of SIS’ ultimate goals.
All-round the event brought cheer and good fun and lots of learning opportunities for me and the SIS family. It was a great occasion for all the linguists to feel pride in their role and support they provide to communities.“
We also received some fantastic and warm feedback from linguists who attended.
“Thank you for the wonderful event! I felt so tired last night, till I stepped into the Winter Gathering with so much positive energy, kindness, and support, which are always available at SIS. Thanks again for everything, and I wish you all a lovely Christmas!”
Tatiana Carson – Community Interpreter
“I Just want to say thanks for organising the Winter Gathering last night. It is great to meet John, Sue and other interpreters in person after a long time of communication only by emails and telephone. I really enjoyed it, and deeply appreciate it. I also would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Merry X’mas & Happy New Year!”
Angela Lau – Community Interpreter
We would like to express a huge thank you to all self-employed and volunteer linguists for the vital language support services they have provided across Sussex in 2023.
We’re looking forward to more opportunities to meet and celebrate with linguists this year including at our Linguist Summer Picnic and the SIS Annual General Meeting.