Apna Ghar minority ethnic women's group holds first meeting since Covid-19 pandemic struck

Members of a successful women’s group reunited in person for the first time since before Covid-19 with their first in-person meeting seeing more than 70 guests attending.

Apna Ghar Minority Ethnic Women’s Centre staff, volunteers, service users and guests, as well as officials from health providers, housing support, partner charities and funders, came together at South Shields Town Hall to hold their first Annual General Meeting since the pandemic hit, with more than 70 people attending.

The group is a charity run by and for minority ethnic women in South Tyneside providing a wide range of opportunities to develop confidence and empower women to recognise their full potential, whilst allowing them to maintain their cultural identity.

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The meeting was officially opened by Mayor Pat Hay, accompanied by Mayoress Jean Copp. The Mayor opened the event and spoke affectionately about her involvement with the charity over the years.

Apna Ghar chairman Dr. Otillia Popescu, project co-ordinator Susan Stephenson, Mayoress Jean Copp, The Mayor of South Tyneside Pat Hay and Tracey Dixon, the leader of South Tyneside Council (left to right) at the group's annual general meeting.
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The guest speaker, Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, praised the charity for the work it does to support the minority ethnic women of South Tyneside.

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Guest speakers at the meeting paid tribute to Apna Ghar’s founder, Vimla Storey, who passed away in 2020, during the pandemic. Vimla founded the charity in 1987 and her legacy continues throughout the charity’s work.

Apna Ghar’s Chair, Dr Otilia Popescu, who was elected in 2020, said, “The charity works hard to ensure that the Ethnic Minority women of South Tyneside are given the opportunity to develop confidence and to recognise their potential, whilst allowing them to maintain their cultural identity. We would like to say thank to the Council, to our funders and to our sister charities for their support.”

Projects Coordinator, Susan Stevenson added: “I have worked for Apna Ghar for more than two years and this was the first ‘non Zoom’ Annual General Meeting since I joined Apna Ghar. The last ‘face to face’ AGM was in 2019, so it was wonderful to see so many of our service users and support providers at the meeting. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mayor Pat Hay who officially opened our meeting and to Cllr Tracey Dixon, who was our guest speaker.”