In November 2019, Multicultural Carlisle changed its name to Multicultural Cumbria (CIO). We want to share the equity of needs by voicing the inclusion of diaspora in the Cumbrian region and making them feel valued, appreciated, accepted, confident, connected, and have a sense of belonging. We are here to enable and empower communities by listening to them and building bridges for them to emerge in wider communities.

We do this by celebrating culture and heritage, as well as envisioning and creating environments and safe spaces so diaspora communities can feel a sense of belonging. We want to help create a better future that will be a multicultural and progressive society.


In 2017 Multicultural Carlisle (CIO), a charitable Incorporated Organisation, was set up with a new team of Trustees as the community group had been dormant for four years. We are an organisation that recognises the need to embrace and celebrate all cultures and communities that reside in Cumbria and encourages the assimilation of integration into the Cumbrian community.


In 2010 a new group was set up as Multicultural Carlisle, as it was felt that AWGC felt too restricted in its engagement and membership. In December 2010 it was agreed to change the name again to Multicultural Carlisle, with changes to the management committee to enable adherence to the original aims & objectives.


Management of the Culture Bazaar was initially undertaken by Asian Women’s Group (Carlisle), then by Cumbria Multicultural Network. Cumbria Multicultural Network was set up in January 2009 and worked alongside Asian Women’s Group Carlisle, the Nepalese Association & One Culture.


In July 2008, the Culture Bazaar was held at Trinity School in Carlisle. There were workshops in music, dance, cooking and storytelling, activities and stands from various organisations, as well as performances in the main hall. Over 1000 people attended the community’s Culture Bazaar and we were helped by over 80 volunteers. It was a fantastic day, with a fun & friendly atmosphere.


The activities of the Asian Women’s Group Carlisle (AWGC) served as encouragement to engage and organise further events to enable people to socialise and celebrate who they are. In July 2007, the 1st Culture Bazaar took place, welcoming over 200 people at Greystone Community Centre in Carlisle.


The aim has always been to bring together people from all different heritages to get involved and represent their culture and heritage. In October 2005, Saj Ghafoor (CEO Multicultural Cumbria) organised an Eid Milan celebration, open to all, and had a tremendous gathering of over 100 people.

Following this, an Asian Women’s Group Carlisle (AWGC) was formed by Saj Ghafoor with the intention of focusing on involving & supporting Asian women to help organise activities & events, by building their confidence & self-esteem.


Multicultural Cumbria is committed to increase communication, tolerance & understanding of different cultures , heritages and race.


Celebrating world cultures through events and delivering social engagement projects throughout Cumbria.


Promoting integration & breaking down barriers, finding solutions, sharing similarities & differences to reduce intolerance & stereotyping.


Bridging gaps like language barriers between health services and communities to ensure better-placed support for the needs of individuals.

Support Our Cause

As a charity, we have to raise funds for local projects and core costs. Activities we deliver are:

Culture Bazaar – An annual multicultural event in Carlisle that averages 4,000 visitors over the February half-term weekend.

Targeted projects including dance, food, music, and art through social engagement and workshops to bring together people from all over the world and locals.

During Covid-19 Lockdown, we have produced Culture Club Magazine online, to share experiences, knowledge and skills to keep connected and raise awareness of the cultural diversity in Cumbria.


Join our community of volunteers who have over the years ensured our community stands united and proudly together. There are lots of activities to get involved in, get in touch!.