£20,801 of funding raised for local women empowerment project in Leicester
From funds raised through the Health Lottery East Midlands and distributed by People’s Health Trust, the Live Cancer Free group based in Leicester has received £20,801. The funding will be used for a 23-month project aimed at empowering Muslim, African and Minority Ethnic women living in the Highfields and Spinney Hills areas of Leicester.
Having an overwhelming desire to provide a social group for women in the area, The Stronger Together project was established. It enables the women to build their confidence and foster a sense of belonging to the community by providing them with the opportunity to mix with other women, make friends and take time out for themselves. The group offer a wide range of activities includes baking and cake decorating, food preparation, swimming, exercise, and crafting classes.
One of the members who have been enrolled in the Stronger Together project for over a year now, Lilly Ahmed, said “I was a stay at home mum when I joined the project, had begun to experience low confidence and I lacked self-esteem.
“I felt like the skills I had were limited but as soon as I joined the project last year, I was able to build myself back up, make new friends and get the support that I needed to believe in myself. After the project taught me how to bake, I started a home baking business and enrolled myself into college at the age of 45 to upskill myself even further.
Thanks to the excellent mentors at the project, I have confidence to pursue my dreams, and that really wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t join the project”.
Speaking about the funds raised through the Health Lottery, Dr Abeer, the founder of the Live Cancer Free group said “Without the funding we wouldn’t have been able to start the project and the women of Leicester wouldn’t have had the space to receive the support they need and the opportunity to upskill through our teaching programs. The funding helped us to acquire a suitable workspace and equipment we needed for our sessions, which are vital to keeping the project alive”.
“At first, I started the group as a small support group for women suffering from cancer in the local area. I wanted to offer them a safe space to receive the support they needed and meet other women who were going through similar situations. However, more and more women started joining the group, the sessions became bigger every week and it became clear there was a real demand for the services we were providing.
I’m always surprised at how successful the project turned out to be and the fact that it is still growing, but I couldn’t be happier that we’re in a position to be able to support women in the local community”.
Commenting on the project, Martin Ellice, Managing Director of the Health Lottery said “As always, we are proud to be supporting projects that aim to empower and uplift local community members. Lilly’s story is inspiring, and it just proves that everyone has the potential in them to succeed and that it is never too late pursue your dreams.”