Support group for South Shields women given £9,000 boost

Apnar Ghar co-ordinator Parveen Begum, right, and members
Apnar Ghar co-ordinator Parveen Begum, right, and members

A support group for women in South Shields has been awarded a £9,000 community grant.

Apna Ghar, the Minority Ethnic Women’s Centre, has been handed £9,443 by the Coalfiends Regeneration Trust as part of its Coalfields Community Grant Programme.

To know that this grant will allow us extend the services we provide and support more women who need our help is a great relief, we can’t thank to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust enough for the contributions they have made.

Carol Robertson, Apna Ghar

The money was awarded to help towards the salary and costs of a part-time manager in a bid to help Apna Ghar extend its services and reach out to more women living within minority communities across the local area.

Centre manager Carol Robertson said: “For some women living in an ethnic community can be difficult and at times intimidating, that’s why we do our best to ensure that these women are given the care and attention they need to recognise their full potential and live happily and comfortably whilst maintaining their cultural identity.

“To know that this grant will allow us extend the services we provide and support more women who need our help is a great relief, we can’t thank to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust enough for the contributions they have made.”

The organisation, which is run by women for women, offers advice and information on a range of subjects including benefits, employment, health, housing rights, nationality, immigration and education.

In addition the group also runs ethnic women’s coffee mornings, a girls’ youth group, English for Speakers of Other Languages and English conversation classes, translation and interpreting service and a crèche.

Andy Lock, head of operations in England for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “Because of Apna Ghar these vulnerable women are receiving the support they need to live confident and independent lives. They are a fantastic organisation and one that is extremely important to the community, in many instances their efforts are literally life changing for the service users who engage with them.”

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is the only organisation dedicated to supporting the coalfield communities to help themselves. With specific measures in place the organisation works towards improving the health and wellbeing, skills, enterprise, community and jobs that are available to those living within former mining towns and villages throughout the country.