South Shields' Apna Ghar centre celebrating 'fantastic' £90,000 boost to help support South Tyneside's ethnic minority communities

A South Tyneside charity is celebrating a timely cash boost, which it says will go towards supporting carers and those being cared for in the borough’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 4:06 pm

The Apna Ghar Minority Ethnic Women’s Centre in Ocean Road in South Shields is to receive the £91,962 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The charity says it will use the money to fund support groups for unpaid carers, on top of training those who would like to become carers in the BAME community. The Asha Ki Karan (meaning Ray of Hope) project will run for three years.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to reach out to not only those unpaid carers in the BAME community but also to tackle the problem that there simple aren’t enough carers in South Tyneside for people of colour,” Apna Ghar's chair, Dr Shobha Srivastava, said.

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Apna Ghar's Chair, Dr Shobha Srivastava
Apna Ghar's Chair, Dr Shobha Srivastava

"We really need people who understand the cultural needs of the minority ethnic community and this funding will help us work on this.”

Besides Apna Ghar's plan to tackle the long-running shortage of carers in South Tyneside, it also plans to offer support and practical help to the many unpaid carers in the BAME community.

"There are a tremendous amount of people caring for members of their family on a day to day basis,” Dr Srivastava added.

"This is often culturally accepted; however, the strain this puts on carers can sometimes mean their’ physical and mental wellbeings are overlooked.”

Apna Ghar plans to form a support group for unpaid carers. The charity hopes this will not only help build friendships between those in the same position but will help with any advice and guidance they may need to help them manage their responsibilities.

The centre was set up more than 33 years ago by Vimla Storey, who sadly passed away last year, to support BAME women in South Tyneside.

The charity provides “a wide range of opportunities,” it says, “to develop confidence and empower women to recognise their full potential, whilst allowing them to maintain their cultural identity.”

Apna Ghar’s Projects Coordinator, Susan Stevenson, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players for making our project possible. We’re going to make a huge difference to the lives of the BAME community of South Tyneside, thanks to National Lottery funding.”

If you are an unpaid carer, or if you are thinking about paid employment at a carer in the BAME community, please contact the centre by emailing [email protected] or telephone 0191 456 4153.

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