Coinciding with the IWD’s theme, we celebrated International Women’s Day with service users, partners, friends, and families, at WomenZone to mark women’s achievements and understand how equity works in a working environment and in our daily lives. We were absolutely honoured to have had our guest speakers Sofia Buncy (West Yorkshire Lieutenant) and Mazish Ahmed (Genetics Project Co-ordinator) to share their journey with us. We would like to thank our talented entertainers, Shagun Bharti and Kousher, for the phenomenal performances during the event and everyone who joined us during this special time.

We were very pleased with the outcome and look forward to embracing equity everyday. “While equality gives the same support to everyone at your workplace, equity gives you the support that you require which might not be suitable for your work colleague as their circumstance is different from yours.” Sadia Sajid (CO-CEO at WomenZone).

WomenZone Newsletter December 2022

Team at WomenZone
We are so pleased to have been part of the Dying Matters Festival in Brighton in November. We came together to celebrate the lives of our loved ones and remember those special moments we shared. Our Dying Matters Project at WomenZone touched many hearts. It opened beautiful conversations about death and dying in our community.
he project lead and poet, Sharena Lee Satti, and Dr. Jamilla Hussain, delivered a perception of Pakistani women’s experience of caring for people at the end of life.
We would like to thank Sharena Lee Satti, and Dr. Jamila for their hard work and endless support in delivering the project at our centre. We would also like to thank Hospice UK for allowing us to be part of an amazing journey.

I remember my Abba and Amma

Death always scared me to my core. Watching burials as a Pakistani girl, I witnessed the rituals.

Maut aik din sab ko aati hai (Urdu: Death comes to all), would say the elders. Kis ki pata si k aj isna aakhri diyarha ai. (Punjabi – Mirpuri dialect: Who knew it would be his/her last day).

As a Muslim, I was taught that death is part of life. I was very close to my father. After my marriage dissolved, I argued about the consequences of his choices; the forced marriage, the new home 4,000 miles away, the struggle as a single-parent. I was blessed to hear his apology and heartfelt sorrow. I was blessed for being able to visit him in Pakistan to apologise for being harsh with him. Days before his death, we argued further. He passed away suddenly after a spell of illness, peacefully and gracefully. My guilt lived on but so did his soul as a spirit guide. I was keen to not to repeat this experience with my mother, who I regularly clashed with. I quashed any outstanding conflicts with her whilst she was alive, as a way to beat life to it this time, before life beat me.

Today, their deaths have rewritten my understanding of death. Abba and Amma, not a day goes by when I don’t miss you. My soul is at peace because I finally understand – your death has not separated us, instead it has reconnected us. It has reconnected me to myself.

Rubina Khalid, CO-CEO at WomenZone

In the early days of the pandemic, Rubina Khalid, Co-CEO,  like millions of others, found herself wondering how she and her colleagues at WomenZone could continue to support the hundreds of women that come through their doors each year with such unprecedented restrictions on social contact.  Read the full article here.

 

 

As we celebrate Independence Day 75 years on from the partition, Zareen Parveen, a lovely member from our wellbeing group, shares her story from when she was 12 years old. Read the full article here

WomenZone are delighted to announce the opening of their new play gym and healthy café from Monday 17 May 2021, thanks to funding of £99,600 through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund.

Through lockdown, WomenZone, who are based at Hubert Street, Bradford, have been busy developing their new baby and toddler play gym called ‘The Play Gym’ and their new healthy café called ‘Hubert Street Kitchen’ for parents and under fours living in the BD3, BD4 and BD5 area of Bradford.

The main aim of The Play Gym and Hubert Street Kitchen is to create ‘big little moments’ of interaction, learning and play between parent and baby. There will also be a playworker based at The Play Gym to promote parent and baby interactions, as research shows that these positive interactions have a great impact on early brain development and ongoing learning, leading to happier and healthier lives as adults.

Sadia Sajid, Development Manager at WomenZone, said: “After months of hard work, The Play Gym and Hubert Street Kitchen are finally here! These new spaces will provide valuable play and healthy eating opportunities for families, encouraging parents to learn practical techniques in which they can support their child’s development. As a result of this project, we hope to enhance the relationship between parents and their children to build lasting bonds. We would like to thank Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund, without which we would not have been able to offer these exciting opportunities to local families.”

Gill Thornton, Head of Programme at Better Start Bradford, said: “Our Innovation Fund has provided an exciting opportunity for our community to test and learn new approaches to support and enhance the first years of life.

“By providing a play facility and healthy café, WomenZone are not only providing fun, creative spaces for families with young children, but are also providing parents and carers with the opportunity to access support, practical training and advice.”

During their Launch Week, which runs from Monday 17 May to Thursday 20 May, 9.30am – 2.30pm, WomenZone will run one-hour tours of the centre, where the public will get exclusive access to The Play Gym and Hubert Street Kitchen, Her Gym and get involved with the family activities on offer.

WomenZone are also offering exclusive taster offers and freebies for Her Gym, Hubert Street Kitchen and more during the Launch Week only. WomenZone has recently gone through a rebrand to transform their branding to better reflect their expansion of the centre, diverse communities they serve and the future direction of the organisation. WomenZone are now more than a Community Centre with Her Gym, The Play Gym, Hubert Street Kitchen and much more. WomenZone are excited to take their aims of empowering women across the district to the next level with the new facilities.

To book a tour, visit www.womenzone.co.uk or call 01274 665270, with your preferred time and the quantity of tickets needed (every person will require an advance ticket, including babies and children). To keep everyone safe and in line with Government guidance around COVID-19, WomenZone are accepting ten people per time slot, so book early to avoid disappointment.