Accrington based charity, Aawaz, help South Asian women gain independence and confidence through their support work and launch of their new ‘Take Care Project’.
Aawaz Access Point, on Blackburn Road in Accrington, has been a community hub since 1997 where people would gather to help each other. Since the pandemic hit the people who relied on support found themselves feeling more isolated than before, unable to access this essential support and socialise with others.
The work Aawaz do centres around the idea of self-help, with education and teaching that is at the core of their support work. Service users gain education, language skills and have access to mental health support and motivational tools.
Zulekha, Service Manager at Aawaz said:
“We at Aawaz help South Asian women in our local community to learn how to break down culture of dependency and gain employability skills. Throughout the pandemic offering essential support that we have done for decades has been very challenging, but more important than ever before. We had to think creatively, how to reach our service users and help them whilst keeping everyone safe.”
After a successful bid to the Hyndburn Community Champions Fund the charity has been able to create their ‘Take Care Project’ which includes online workshops and support sessions for their service users.
Jean Battle MBE, Aawaz Patron explained:
“We at Aawaz help the ladies with overcoming the difficulties and fears they are experiencing, as a result of the pandemic and beyond. Examples of the work we include are zoom discussion and activity sessions, where Aawaz provide activity packs to help the participants express their feelings through art and craft and story sharing. We can also follow up with individuals afterwards. Take Care Project is helping the participants to eliminate their fear of talking about feelings.”
Amina Bibi a project participant said:
“Take care Project has helped me to feel less anxious and make new friends, I feel better and I have been able to join other learning programmes”.
Aawaz can help the participants to join other in-house projects and to get more connected with Hyndburn agencies. The Take Care Project has also introduced a new way their service users can express their feelings, which is often hard when in an online group. Using coloured heart tokens, given to people in advance, the participants can hold the heart tokens up to indicate if they would like extra support outside of the workshop.
The resources from Community Champions Fund is helping Aawaz to go that extra mile to support the ladies. Despite the fact that the participants are at home with their families, they still feel isolated because they are missing the social interaction, support and friendship that they would normally have every day.
You can find Aawaz Access Point at 225 Blackburn Rd, Accrington BB5 0AL or get in touch with them by calling 01254 398176.