Hertfordshire Asian Women’s Association (HAWA) Multicultural Services
2133. Rushna Miah
Rushna Miah, from Hertfordshire, one of the co-founders of ‘Hertfordshire Asian Women's Association (HAWA), provides a support network for women from ethnically diverse communities and women facing social isolation in the area, particularly due to language barriers.
HAWA was set up in 2008, to help support women, particularly those with limited English, into education and employment, as well as empowering them to engage with other organisations in the local area.
Hawa’s flagship project is “Saheli Tiffin Club Project”, which provides a safe space for elderly Asian women to engage in activities, exercise classes, English language lessons and have the opportunity to attend talks on health and wellbeing. The Club also use their weekly meeting to make up hot drinks packs, which form part of gift bags distributed by a local charity. The charity also runs employment programmes and computing and administrative courses to help women into the workforce.
Rushna’s local MP for St Albans, Daisy Cooper, said:
“I’ve known Rushna for a number of years, and I’ve seen the incredible work she does creating a welcoming environment for Asian women in St Albans and beyond.
“I’ve met the ladies at the Tiffin Club – and enjoyed the gorgeous cakes! – and saw first-hand how she’s built a safe, inclusive place especially for older Asian women for whom English is not their first language.
“What she’s been able to achieve in improving access to English language, employment advice and training has quite simply been remarkable.
“She’s is an amazing person and HAWA is a well-respected organisation.
“Rushna is a local community hero in St Albans and thoroughly deserves the recognition from the Points of Light programme.”
“I am incredibly thrilled and deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award for HAWA. It is an immense privilege to receive recognition from the Prime Minister.
“HAWA’s commitment to serving the community has been unwavering, and HAWA has helped to address some of the disparities faced by ethnically diverse women. Through our culturally specific and tailored services, HAWA aims to empower and instil confidence in these women so they can actively engage with the communities they reside in.
“The growth of the Saheli Tiffin Club, which has now evolved into the Saheli Women’s Day Centre, operating three days a week, has been a remarkable journey. Witnessing the positive impact it has had on the ladies who have been attending since 2009 is a truly heartwarming experience.
“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Team HAWA, which includes my dedicated board members, staff, volunteers, and the HAWA members, without whom HAWA would not have achieved this recognition. Their tireless efforts and dedication have been instrumental in getting us to where we are today.”
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