Councils build bridges
A first-hand experience of other cultures was offered to local government workers who toured Hindu and Jain temples.
Diversity expert Dr Atul Shah organised the trip to Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir and the Jain temple, both in North London, for employees of Essex County Council and Braintree Council.
Joanne Kett, who works for Braintree Council, said to experience a different culture had taught her more than any diversity course she had attended.
"I enjoyed the hospitality and feel that when communities are so well organised, they do not become a burden on the state and instead add valu to Britain," she said.
An estimated 60,000 people of Indian origin live and work in Essex. Dr Shah, chief executive of diverseethics.com and a leading member of Colchester's Hindu community, said: "I am keen to build bridges and encourage businesses and public organisations to experience the beauty of diversity first hand.
"This is a practical way of making a real difference to people's lives and understanding."
Evening Gazette, 9th Nov 2006 - Diversity Tour