Roshni Empowerment Project
This is a 5-year project, funded by the Big Lottery, to run from Oct 2016 to Sep 2021. The Empowerment Project offers advocacy, counselling, one to one coaching for self-development, and group sessions to increase mental wellbeing and life skills.
The first step in women’s empowerment journey is advocacy, which is the backbone of Roshni’s work. Due to multiple barriers there are many South Asian women who are suffering in silence, not knowing how to seek help. Roshni has created a unique place for those women, by providing a warm, safe and accessible place where they are given information and guidance in their own language, to help them out of their difficulties. We work side by side with the women until their situation is stabilised. Many of the women we support lack adequate English. Often they have come to the UK on spouse visas and restrictions placed upon them by their in-laws have kept them from integrating into the British society. The cultural barriers to freedom transfer from generation to generation, and, therefore, many women who have been brought up in the UK still need advocacy support to realise their full potential. Our advocacy service is a lifeline to some of the most marginalised women in the British society.
Our ethos is to enable women instead of taking over their burdens or creating dependency. Therefore, we work with the women rather than for them. When women are out of their immediate crisis, we shift our focus to empowerment. We do this by helping women with an individual action plan to develop their life skills and to gain better mental wellbeing.
We have a whole range services to help women to stand on their feet to become strong and independent. Women can take up any of the following activities:
- Counselling: Our bi-lingual counselling is provided through a team of qualified counsellors of South Asian origin, who understand the unique cultural issues South Asian woman are faced with. We typically receive highly positive feedback from women undergoing counselling at Roshni.
- Drama-based English conversation class: We offer ‘Creative English’ classes which use an effective programme for teaching spoken English, without the use of paper and pens, developed by Faith Action. We find that women with attendance of just ten sessions gain a sharp increase in their confidence and start to use English in everyday life situations.
- Mental wellbeing course: We have run a number of six to ten week courses, which includes sessions on relaxation, stress-management and art therapy. We have a rolling programme for these sessions throughout the year. Women are finding them immensely therapeutic.
- Parenting classes: We recognise that to meet the demands of motherhood, women need a space for relaxation and time out, as well as resources and support to practice positive parenting techniques, in order to raise strong and healthy children. Therefore, we run a parenting course twice a year, which combines pampering and wellbeing sessions for women with lots of opportunity to practice well-tried successful methods for restoring order and harmony in the home.
- Employment preparation courses: We run a practical course to raise confidence in women to take up paid work. The course looks at how to build knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for finding work. One to one support is provided at the end of the course to help women find relevant experience through volunteering, as well as completing job applications and preparing for job interviews.
- Developing hobbies: We regularly run courses to develop women’s hobbies, such as sewing, make-up, hair styling and so on. Our courses allow women to develop their hobby, either for wellbeing or as a stepping stone to getting into professional courses.
- Volunteering opportunities: We have open volunteering programme, with various opportunities open to South Asian women, who can give something back to the community whilst at the same time building valuable skills and gaining work experience. Every year, many of our volunteers successfully secure paid work. Please see our volunteering page for current opportunities.