Kashmiri Women’s Welfare Association exists to promote good health and well-being for women from the Muslim faith who find it difficult to access mainstream services due to cultural, religious and language barriers. The group runs a weekly day service for members aged between 50 and 90 at Langley Green Community Centre to help address issues of social isolation and integration, including yoga sessions; sewing and craft classes as well as chair-based exercises.
The group approached us for funding support as part of a plan to increase the range of activities they provide and to help with ongoing essential core costs, as coordinator, Rubina Sharmim explains: “Due to financial constraints, the group was struggling to cope with sustaining the running costs of the day service. It had been some time since we had applied for a grant and we felt unsure of what funding opportunities may be available to us and how to make a convincing case for support.”
During an initial diagnostic meeting, Groups Advisor, Karl Parks, suggested the group develop stronger links with Crawley Wellbeing to explore the potential for offering new activities to increase participation amongst the existing membership and the wider community. The committee was also encouraged to undertake an evaluation exercise to measure the impact of current activities to provide robust up-to-date evidence for subsequent funding applications.
“Karl was so helpful and knowledgeable and thoroughly committed to providing the best service possible. I felt so alone and my confidence was low prior to your involvement and Karl has helped me to focus on our mission and key priorities and to plan ahead. The support was tailored to suit my needs and Karl’s patient approach has, at every step. For instance, he patiently reviewed draft versions made me understand the reasoning behind his recommendations and suggestions.”
Two subsequent successful bids to Longley Trust (£750) and the Sussex Community Foundation (£4750) has helped the Kashmiri Women’s Welfare Association feel more secure financially and enable the committee to plan more effectively and confidently for the future.