The project provides emotional and practical support to women living with multiple levels of disadvantage in the community. Participants can access immediate support to deal with grief and poor mental health as well as learn new skills such as computing.
Talking Therapy and Staying Safe During Covid-19 brings together Black, Asian and minority ethnic and newly arrived women, who have experienced bereavement, isolation and hardship during Covid-19.
Aaina Community Hub was set up by CEO A’isha Khan to support women from marginalised communities 21 years ago. Women who already attend the hub for different services and activities decided on the aim of the new project based on the issues they had been experiencing.
A lot of the women that usually attend Aaina Community Hub have experienced multiple challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, families living in multi-occupancy households who were unable to isolate from one another. People have had bereavements which has led to greater grief and increasing mental health issues in the community. During lockdown measures none of the usual funeral processes were able to take place which has a huge toll on the people affected.
Another issue many women have raised is difficultly understanding the changing information about lockdown measures and staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is due to language barriers, isolation, and a lack of culturally sensitive messaging.
The Talking Therapy and Staying Safe During Covid-19 project seeks to tackle some of the grief experienced, through talking therapy, as well as information sharing through ESOL classes and digital literacy. These new skills will enable women to become more independent and able to manage changing environments due to the ongoing risk of Covid-19.
By building these social connections at the community hub, women will also expand their support circles in the wider community and feel less isolated when faced with challenges, improving emotional wellbeing.