During late September and early October, we have been pleased to support young film makers, a dancer and a visual artist, Lucas Oertal from Dresden.

Photos in Gallery 



In August, we welcomed 16 friends from our friendship town of Vannes in Brittany. They spent 3 days in London, accompanied by 6 members of CAIF and then 5 nights in Coventry hosted by our members. A full programme of visits, including a day in Cambridge were enjoyed despite the inclement weather. Councillor Abdul Khan gave them a warm reception in the Council House and Paul Curtis and Lord and Lady Godiva gave  them a city tour and a performance about the History of Coventry.The group treated an audience to group singing at a Multi-Cultural Day, organised by the Godiva Lions. We had a social evening, courtesy of the Queen's Rd Baptist Church. 

Photos in the Gallery



In June, 9 CAIF members visited Leipzig with friends from Kiel. We enjoyed a tour of the City and a concert of music by Bach as it was the week of BACHFEST. There was a warm atmosphere in the streets with many student musicians displaying their talent. We then returned to Kiel , where we were hosted by our friends enjoying their wonderful hospitality and getting to know Kiel and its environs.  

See gallery for photos



On Saturday June 1st we enjoyed a concert in the Cathedral given by the Coventry Spires Choir and a visiting choir from Dresden that included our friend and contact Rainer. They were accompanied by the Coventry Spires Philharmonic orchestra. A full audience, including the Lord Mayor Linda Bigham, appreciated the professional quality of the performance. See gallery for photos.





The Annual General Meeting took place on May 17 in the Council House. Our guest of honour, this year, was Ruth Longoni, who spoke of her work with the Lord Mayor's Peace Committee. 


We took part in our second Community Information Fair organised by Positive Images. Linda has been attending their Meetings 



We announced an annual prize for young people in September 2017. The Friendship prize was offered to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of Coventry's children, youth and young adults in promoting a culture of international friendship, understanding and peace and also aims to inspire others to learn from young people and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

The theme of the competition was the “Culture of International Friendship, Understanding and Peace”.  

Entries were invited to address this subject and to show how to involve young people in activities that bring together people of different nationalities, races and cultures, so as to promote international friendship.

The prize was open to anyone up to 25 years old (as of 31 August 2017) in one of three age categories:- Child (aged up to 14), Youth (aged 15 – 18) and Young Adult (aged 19 – 25).

Entrants were invited to submit an entry in the form of an essay of between 500-1000 words, a poem, a photographic essay, a moving image or a musical composition.

Prize Awards will be made in each category –

1st Prize: Certificate, prize of £250

2nd Prize: Certificate, prize of £150

3rd Prize: Certificate, prize of £100

On Monday 11 June 2018, the Lord Mayor, Councillor John Blundell presented certificates and cash prizes to students and pupils from Coventry University, Bablake School and King Henry V111 School.

Several members of CAIF travelled to Bath to meet up with long time friends from Kiel,who are spending a few days in Bath and Bristol. Four of the Kielers came to Coventry to meet old friends Allan Trickett and John Moore.


Eight members of CAIF went on a week  long visit to our friendship town of Meschede in Sauerland, Germany.

Along with a group of our Breton friends, we celebrated the Meschede group's 50 years of International Friendship. 

We visited monasteries, museums and factories and enjoyed several social occasions with plenty of food and good German beer.

A wonderful  week that strengthened our links with both Meschede and Vannes.


We supported, along with the Queen's Road Baptist Church, the Coventry German Circle, who hosted 12 visitors from our twin city of Dresden from 6-10 October.  CAIF members helped to host visitors and joined them on their tours  and our member, Clive Benfield,  sponsored a meal out for the group at Bella Italia. The Lord Mayor welcomed them and they were given a tour of The Council House, St Mary’s Guildhall and the Cathedral.


Senza Nome, along with their Musical Director and CAIF member, Joanna Kunda and the Nightingales Choir, set up by Pat Trickett over 30 years ago, held a concert in St Andrews Church, Eastern Green as a wonderful tribute to the memory of Pat.

19 CAIF members enjoyed Christmas meal at The Roseycombe Pub in Binley Woods.


Members of CAIF and The Coventry Rotary Club along with Coventry City Councillors, notably Councillor John Mutton, enjoyed a presentation by Olga Alyona Lawson to celebrate the 75 Years of twinning between Volgograd and Coventry. A video link was briefly established between The Youth International Friendship Club and teachers from Gymnasium No 5 in Volgograd and our group that morning.

Senza Nome (affiliated to CAIF) celebrated their 10thAnniversary with a wonderful concert at the Polish Church and a Celebration at Coventry Connexion attended by CAIF members and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.


It was the 74th Anniversary of the bombing of Dresden and this year is the 60th Anniversary of the twinning of Coventry with Dresden. 

Two of our Artist friends, John Yeadon and Lisa Gunn opened their exhibition in Dresden on 12 February.  “Condition humaine” presented works by artists from Coventry and Dresden as part of the Coventry- Dresden Arts Exchange. Its themes were on human vulnerability, struggle and resilience - qualities Coventry and Dresden share. The Lord Mayors of both cities were present and gave addresses. We are proud to have been supported the artist Lisa Gunn, who is disabled, with a donation of £200 to help with her overland travel to Dresden as part of the Coventry-Dresden Arts Exchange. This exhibition will be shown in Coventry in June 2019.  There will also be a concert with the Coventry Spires Choir and on a Choir from Dresden (Neuer Chor) on June 1st.

CAIF members attended an Islamic Exhibition and seminar on the Indian Army’s contribution in The First World War in Binley Woods Village Hall. It was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association 


CAIF members attended a concert celebrating International Women’s Day in St Mary’s Hall. There were inspiring speeches by Women’s Rights Activist, Mattie Heaven and Businesswoman, Fleur Sexton. Followed by beautiful classical Persian music from the Soveida Ensemble.

Our member, Rabee al Hafidh, Secretary of the Mosul Foundation was interviewed on Turkish Television about the tragic state of his home city of Mosul. He refers to cities like Coventry, Dresden and Volgograd that have rebuilt themselves after devastation.



The Lord Mayor, Councillor John Blundell, presented Certificates and cash awards to this year’s prizewinners. This year’s theme was “My Peace Hero” and entries included tributes to parents, friends and Alan Turing. Members of CAIF attended along with Councillor Ram Lakha and proud parents and families.

14 CAIF members enjoyed a meal at The Roseycombe Pub and were interviewed on film for a short Video to be sent to our friends in Dresden for Europeday on May 9.



 • A review of our Action Plan and set targets for the future year. • We have booked a stall for the Community Information Fair on July 3. • In June 9 CAIF members are to meet a group from Kiel, led by Magda, in Hamburg, then Leipzig and then Kiel.. • 18 visitors from Vannes are coming to London and Coventry from12-19 August. 4 members will meet them in London and accommodation has been arranged in an LSE Hall of Residence. They will stay with hosts in Coventry from 14-19 August. • During the year, we will attend events that commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the twinning between Volgograd and Coventry. Starting with the The Twin Cities Conference at The Russian Cultural Centre in London on April 26th. • In October a dance group from Volgograd will perform in the Albany Theatre. We have been asked to approach schools and dance groups in Coventry with a view to perform on that date and for future exchanges.Linda has put them in contact with Cardinal Newman School and the Sayhadri Colours of India group. • Following a request from Rhys Davies of Cardinal Newman School , Linda has given him contact details of individuals or organisations who may help him to forge pupil links with some of our twin cities.

Linda Hirons (CAIF Secretary).