Creative Design and Manufacture UK
1775. Taslima Ahmad
Taslima Ahmad, from Manchester, is a textile designer who founded ‘Creative Design and Manufacture UK’ to coach women in hand-processed textile manufacturing techniques such as batik and block printing, and provide mentorship for finding work opportunities in the industry.
Taslima’s love of textiles started as a young girl, leading her to study textiles at university and a career as a designer, before she launched ‘Creative Design and Manufacture UK’ as a way of reconnecting other Manchester residents with the city’s textile heritage, in particular women and children from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds, and people who have experienced domestic abuse. Through the initiative, Taslima has delivered classes to over 2,000 school children, and run regular workshops and projects helping women gain skills in producing high-quality textiles. During lockdown, Taslima distributed sewing machines to women and students across the city and ran online textile training sessions, which included helping people make their own masks.
In a personal letter to Taslima, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Through ‘Creative Design and Manufacture UK’, you have brought new meaning to the ‘Cottonopolis’ that is Manchester, by preserving and promoting the shared heritage of hand processed textile manufacturing of Britain and South Asia.
“You have also created a space where people suffering the most appalling abuse can rebuild their lives, build connections and friendships and move their lives forward.”
Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central, said:
“I’m really pleased to see Taslima’s work has been recognised. She’s provided a fantastic service to thousands of women and school children across Manchester and this award is thoroughly well deserved.”
“I am delighted to receive the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award. However, this award is not for me but for the incredible women in the community I work with, who make huge efforts and sacrifices to bring positive change to their lives, despite challenging personal circumstances.
“Finally, I would like to add our motto ‘Little by Little, We Make A Change’. This is what we believe and promote to bring positive change in people’s lives through a personalised approach to support the women in the community. It is quite humbling to have the opportunity to help these incredibly resilient women, who are our heroes and inspiration.”