Wakefield women have been getting creative thanks to money received from a local charitable organisation.
The BME (black, minority, ethnic) women’s emotional wellbeing group – or ‘Sahara’ (which means support in Urdu) have taken part in a 10-week art project which was funded by the Harrison Trust. The Harrison Trust is an organisation that uses money raised from the sale of the Stanley Royd for mental health and learning disability projects in the Wakefield area.
The group – which is jointly run by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust and Wakefield West PCT – is for women from BME communities who have experienced or care for people with mental health problems, or for women who live in isolation and could do with support.
Musarat Raza – the artist who is leading the project said, "We started off with a taster session where we learned different textile techniques such as tie-die, applique, batik and hand and machine embroidery. We’re aiming to make a wall hanging and a large framed piece. In the first session lots of the women didn’t think they could do it but everyone’s done really well and produced some fantastic art work."
Mental health development worker Koser Begum said, "This art project has been a really good chance for the women to learn new skills and also practise skills they haven’t used for a long time and thought they’d lost. Everyone has worked really hard and shared their skills with each other."
Mental health support worker Yasmin Arshad jointly set up the women’s group with Koser two years ago. The art project is just one of many activities the group does – previously the women have been strawberry picking, had aromatherapy massages and listened to speakers talk about different ‘healthy topics’.
Yasmin said, "The group provides an opportunity for the women to socialise, provide each other with support and also for us to provide information about mental health and signpost the women to services that might benefit them. People are referred to the group by myself, their GP or psychiatric teams."
The group hope to organise an exhibition to display their finished work. The group hope to organise an exhibition to display their work. For more information about the BME women’s group contact Yasmin on 01924 327460. Koser also runs a similar group for men, for more information on this contact Koser on 077696450082.