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This category will celebrate the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, who make Walsall great. This category will recognise the work of projects which support women to make change in their community through providing education, advocacy, friendship and a wider array of services.

Walsall Women Empowerment Workshop

The Women Empowerment Workshop is designed for all Women of working age, living in the borough of Walsall. The Women Empowerment workshop aims to give women; The steps to building up self-confidence and self-esteem, Recognising existing skills, Personal and career aspirations and Entrepreneurial opportunities. It has been organised in partnership with DWP, Walsall Black Sisters Collective, Aaina Community Hub and Walsall For All. 

Walsall Creative Factory

Walsall Creative Factory has supported over 130 women since opening our workshop a year ago with average 
of 450 attendances per month which are 80% women. This includes two programmes specifically aimed at supprting marginalised women from Miripuri, Polish and other nationalities supporting with language, life in the UK study, family issues, community cohesion between communities, domestic violence, health and well being, confidence and engagement with services. This has been done using creativity as a tool, with the support of valued volunteers and partnership with The Bridge Project.

Mend-It Green Lane Baptist Church 

Mend-It is a local community initiative that creates opportunities for positive engagement and aims to change mindsets of all service users. It has been running with the help of volunteers for 10 years at Green Lane Baptist Church, in Walsall and attracts up to 85 centre users a week. Activities range from sewing classes to English sessions. 


Moolade is an FGM support group based in Walsall offering support to FGM survivors and domestic abuse survivors. The aim of the group is to empower women to speak up and talk about taboo issues as well as providing a support network in the local community. The organisation has campaigned against FGM locally raise awareness of FGM to raise awareness in the hope of stopping the practice. 

Aaina Hub

Aaina was established in 1997 by a group of local Asian women who were concerned that disadvantaged BAME women were excluded from accessing mainstream services in Walsall. Aaina provides accessible services that cater for women and their children in Walsall that enables them to aspire and achieve through Education and Training, Support Services and Community Engagement.

Black Country Women’s Aid

“They helped me to understand what I suffered was not my fault. My whole life has changed and I am ready to face the world”. Black Country Women’s Aid (BCWA) is an independent charity which has supported survivors of abuse and exploitation in the West Midlands for 30 years. The organisation supports over 8000 victims of abuse each year to escape from violence, cope with trauma and rebuild their lives. In Walsall, BCWA offers community support services for those who have experienced domestic abuse, stalking, sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse, honour-based violence, forced marriage and modern-day slavery. 

Raqia Akhtar Darlaston Youth Centre 

Raqia Akhtar is the Youth Centre Manager at Darlaston Youth Centre. The centre has been transformed to a youth-led community space for young people aged 10-19 years. The Centre specialises in delivering innovative, challenging and unique projects which challenge historical and deep-rooted attitudes and mind sets with the active involvement of young people and exploring sensitive and taboo subjects. “Voices of the Hijab” project raises awareness of the hijab, discrimination, hate crime, creates empathy and dialogue and develops community cohesion. “Honour in a Crime?” explores honour- based abuse, the 1960’s South Asian Migration to the U.K, the concept of honour overtime, as well as attitudes and treatment towards women and honour related stories of women across the faiths. Young people have also researched the U.K reported honour killings, have interviewed police, practitioners and survivors of honour-based abuse which has informed the project and have produced an educational film called ‘Daddy’s little…izzat’ and other resources. The Centre has received funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Near Neighbours and The Owen Family Trust and works with West Midlands Police among other partners. 

Shazia Nasreen and Edyta Kastelik

Edyta and Shazia have gone above and beyond of what was expected of them as Hate Crime Ambassadors as part of the Black Country Innovate Hate Crime project. They have shown courage in talking about their own personal experiences of hate crime with a wider audience to inspire others to share their stories, report and challenge hate crime. They have also supported the campaign by attending events to raise awareness of hate crime during and after hate crime awareness week.

Rania Hussain

As part of Minhaj Sisters, Rania supports other women who are part of the Minhaj ul Quran Mosque and together they commit to helping those in need. This work extends well beyond the walls of the Mosque. For example, they can often be found supplying food for those who are homeless in Walsall irrespective of their faith. This is reflective of Rania’s other voluntary efforts which sees her leading interfaith work as part of a Christian/Muslim twinning initiative between members of Minhaj ul Quran and Methodists in and around Walsall. The intention of this work is to heal many of the divisions that needlessly stand between different faith communities within Walsall; recognising one another as neighbours and in time becoming friends. Rania has worked tirelessly to ensure the relationships between Muslims and Christians is authentic; celebrating commonalities and meeting differences with a graceful curiosity.

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