Awards Spotlight - Afghan Community and Welfare Centre
Introducing Afghan Community and Welfare Centre, Improving Access to Services award winner.
Why do you love the work you do?
The work we do is more rewarding and satisfying when you see the difference our work has made to many people. We love our work as we live as a community, we want to play our part and be active in the wider community and contribute positively to make a difference to the lives of people in need. The best part of our work is when we see a smile on people’s faces and see them happy as a result of our support they have received. We mainly work with newly arrived families from migrant backgrounds, including asylum seekers and refugees. We try to understand their needs better since many of us have been through similar situations in the past. We want to help them build their future and support to integrate positively in the community.
What is your proudest moment from the work you’ve done in your community?
We have many moments to be proud of, for example, when we see families who been supported as soon as they have arrived and now, we see them helping other newly arrived families. We are also proud when they contribute to the wider community, feel part of the community and when we see them together helping each other.
The Awards are about bringing people together, can you tell us about some of the great things that are happening to bring people together in your Walsall?
We have a unique way of bringing people together using food before Covid-19. One of our successful projects is a weekly community social gathering, where up to 80 people come together every weekend over a meal to socialise, interact, discuss community matters and work together on issues important to the community. This social gathering started 4 years ago and it keeps growing as more and more families want to join and be part of it.
Can you tell us about anyone in Walsall that you admire and why?
There are many organisations and individuals who are doing great work in the community and we work with many of them. We very much admire the valuable work of Walsall Outreach who are supporting the very vulnerable people in the community and we have had the privilege to work with them during the pandemic.
Can you share something that you have learnt during the pandemic?
When you work to help others, you are also helping yourself. We have learnt many things while working in the community. When you work in the community, you will come across many different issues people are facing, and we are always looking for new ways to support people in need. During the pandemic, we saw many individuals and community groups come out to help in any way they could and many of the groups worked together and created partnerships to support people in need. This is very positive, and we need to keep this momentum and keep the partnership going.