The Sharan Project
On 8 March 2019, International Women’s Day, the trustees of Futures for Women announced that they had chosen to fund the charity The Sharan Project as their first project partner.
The Sharan Project is a national charity that supports vulnerable women, particularly from South Asian communities in Britain, who have experienced persecution, domestic violence, forced marriage, honour based abuse and other forms of cultural conflict. The Sharan Project provides them with the tools to lead an independent life without fear and realise their full potential. During 2019 and 2020 Futures for Women awarded a total grant of £29,000 to part-fund a Sharan Project programme which sought to create realistic employment opportunities for 4 groups of 20 women, based in Birmingham. The women were supported to overcome the barriers and challenges they may face in securing employment opportunities towards financial independence. The programme also involved partner organisations to deliver on employability training, makeover, interview coaching, and benefit related support.
Two employment workshops took place in May and November 2019 and you can read all about the outcomes on our news page. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the two employability workshops scheduled for 2020 were unable to take place. A 4-week training course to support women who would like to work in the construction industry is planned for 2022 when government restrictions are lifted.
The work of the Sharan Project (registered charity 1149094) can be viewed on their website www.sharan.org.uk
Following the conclusion of our funding partnership with the Sharan Project our Trustees reviewed our strategy moving forward and agreed to partner with Grimsby Institute for 2021. The Institute was selected to honour the memory of our founder, Jessie Boucherett, who originated from north Lincolnshire and whose Grandfather had been an MP for the town. Grimsby is also situated in an area of social deprivation.
Our partnership with Grimsby Institute saw us award grants of £500 to disadvantaged female students who were studying further education courses at the college. The grants were awarded to pay for the equipment required to complete the course, such as a laptop, personal protective clothing or hairdressing supplies, or to help with the course fees. Nine grants were agreed to women studying hairdressing (x 2), health and social care (x 4), mechanical engineering and painting and decorating.
In September 2022 we heard via the Institute that six of the women we had supported had progressed onto further study and three of them had moved into the workplace. One of the students said:
“I’d like to thank you for the grant which was so much help to me. I managed to have all the same tools as the other girls and always felt like I was the same as them, rather than the person who struggled. I feel very thankful for this grant. I’m now qualified and hoping to be self-employed in the near future. Without the help you gave me I wouldn’t feel so positive as I do now about my working future. Thank you so much!”