Newest member of the family by Sultana Begum

I first met Shebina, Naseem and Sabrin around 2014 when I was working at Wellbeing Services(now The Active Wellbeing Society). I worked in the same office as Naseem and during this time I was intrigued and amazed at what Saheli had done for the ladies in the community.

When needed, I helped Naseem with preparation on materials for upcoming events, the most memorable would be the little cards that were made for the two Tryathon’. I spent a good few hours punching a single hole in the corner and then tying a purple ribbon (it was the theme) through it, so that the ladies could keep around their wrist to get it stamped, once each of the activities had been completed.

I took part in some. When I took part at the events I felt a great sense of achievement, especially the 5K walk, jog, run. I had never walked 5k, especially around a park…..I was always told parks are scary places. I am the can’t run, won’t run… me stitches just thinking about it, so having the option of walking was amazing.

I volunteered in some events to help out with registration, signposting, giving out medals, T-shirts and goody bags.

I took voluntary redundancy from TAWS in 2019. I stayed in touch with Naseem and around August 2019, Naseem called, to ask if I was free to support Saheli and cover Sabrins Maternity leave.

And just like that I became the new addition to the Saheli family

I started at Calthorpe and took on some of the admin responsibilities. I also supported the instructors at Omnia Medical Practice, Yardley Green Medical Centre and Saltley Wellbeing Centre. It was amazing to be working so closely with the participants and helping them and the relationship the long standing members had with the instructors was definitely of ‘Saheli’ and not of instructor-participant.

Then came along covid and put everything on halt but this time I got my personal experience of Saheli. During the first lockdown my health was not the best and most days I had no motivation to do anything but the positive, inspirational and funny group messages, kept me going, although everybody was fighting their own battles during this hard time.

Until life returns to somewhat normal, the online morning calls and afternoon calls, will need to bridge the gap. Sessions include Talking Art, Natures Gifts,  Stronger, Stretched & Balanced, Crochet & Knitting, Body Conditioning, storytelling & managing anxiety. It’s wonderful to see participants joining in and not just local but from across the oceans.