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.
At the time of the announcement Vice Chair of Futures for Women, Joanna Murray, said “Part-funding an employment project run by a charity partner is a radical change of direction for Futures for Women. But our Trustees are confident that this new direction would have the full support of our founder Jessie Boucherett, who pushed hard against boundaries in the 19th century in order to give women the opportunities to carve out a career of their choice. We are excited to be supporting the Sharan Project programme for the next 2 years and look forward to meeting the participants and hearing of their employment successes. Its programme will also reduce social isolation and the risk of abuse, increase self-confidence and create a new network of friendships which will change lives forever”.
Polly Harrar, Founder and Trustee of The Sharan Project said “We are delighted to be working with Futures for Women as we recognise that economic abuse can have a lasting effect for women. This programme is designed to empower women to rebuild their lives towards independent living without fear.”
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. The Sharan Project moved its support for vulnerable women online and kept in regular contact with existing beneficiaries. A 4-week training course to support women who would like to work in the construction industry is planned for 2021 when government restrictions are lifted.
The work of the Sharan Project (registered charity 1149094) can be viewed on their website www.sharan.org.uk