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COVID-19 Champions - Shahida's story

The COVID-19 Community Champions programme aims to support residents from under-represented groups who may be most at risk from COVID-19.

As part of the programme, organisations have recruited and trained community champions to receive the latest COVID-19 information to share with communities.

One of our partner organisations, the Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC), recruited three community champions to support their project activity in a volunteering capacity. One of them is Shahida Tariq, who has shared her story as a champion.

Shahida working as a COVID-19 champion and taking calls at the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Walsall.

The incredibly dull, long-term, lockdown that, for me, started in Almeria, Spain last year and continued in Walsall until March, left me bored and frustrated. In April 2021, at the age of 43, I joined RMC as a volunteer.

As a Pakistani, I had experience of working as a teacher, a coordinator, a section head and finally principal of a reputable educational institution. I had been involved in several development programmes where social action plans were targeted towards raising awareness.

I joined RMC as a COVID Champion to continue this type of work and to support the migrant community in the borough as well as to use my time more productively.