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The Jasmine Project: Changing Lives of Domestic Abuse Victims

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Aanchal Women’s Aid, a UK charity with a global background, has announced the success of The Jasmine Project and invites women experiencing domestic abuse to continue to seek support from the project, and women’s aid charities in general.

The Jasmine Project, which Aanchal runs with the support of the National Lottery Community Fund and 2020 Tampon Tax Community Fund, is a free 12 session empowerment programme and eight session home management programme designed by and for women who have survived domestic abuse. The Jasmine Project helps survivors regain confidence and rebuild their lives through:

  • Dedicated caseworkers offering emotional and practical support
  • Mindfulness and Resilience, and Managing the Home courses, shaped by service users
  • Online community check-in 
  • Meaningful ongoing connection with a supportive community of women
  • Parenting workshops run by their Key Child Support Officer, for families who have experienced domestic abuse
  • Volunteering and opportunities for service users to get involved

Aanchal, founded by Su Bhuhi MBE, has particular expertise in Asian family culture, and many of Aanchal’s staff and volunteers have direct experience of South Asian cultures. They understand the cultural pressures on these communities and, as well as English, they speak Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, and Gujarati.

Sudarshan Bhuhi MBE, CEO, Aanchal Women’s Aid said: ‘It is already clear that Jasmine is one of the best programmes we have delivered. By giving service users more time and support, and moving from crisis management to community-based empowerment, Jasmine is changing lives. Women are learning, we are learning, and we’re sharing that learning back into the community.’

Aanchal also wishes to promote interest in Chai Chat, an online support group that provides a safe space for women to share experiences and understanding whilst gaining practical and emotional support, all over a brew. Chai Chat is open for women to join every Wednesday at 12 noon for a virtual chat. Anyone interested in finding out more is encouraged to call (+44) 07970990392 or email info@aanchal.org.uk.

Service user quotes:

‘When it seemed like everything was falling apart and all the doors seemed tough to open, Aanchal gave me hope in rebuilding myself.’

‘Aanchal made me realise that I had to put myself first to be able to move on with life.’

Their funders include

  • BBC Children in Need
  • City Bridge Trust
  • Comic Relief
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • Garfield Weston
  • Heinz, Anna, and Carol Kroch Foundation
  • London Borough of Redbridge
  • Tampon Tax Community Fund
  • The Tudor Trust
  • Winston Churchill Memorial Fund

About Aanchal

As a family and community support network, Aanchal provides a safe place where people find hope so they can believe and say ‘I matter’.

They take into account and respect the culture, rituals, and ways of being, to support people through challenging issues, crisis, and stigmas that they will face in speaking out. They understand that every individual they support has the right to live as an equal in society, able to hold up their head with pride and to be part of a supportive community and know that they are not alone. Aanchal is proud to be an inclusive organisation.

They open doors to the many benefits, opportunities, and systems that can best help protect people and their children.

They provide emotional and practical support, guidance, and tools to allow people to make positive life decisions, to live a comfortable life that is fulfilling for them and their children. They also support them to contribute to the wider world in a meaningful way using the wisdom, access to knowledge, and skills they have.

About Sudarshan Bhuhi MBE

Born in Africa, lived in India, and grew up in London, Su set up Aanchal Women’s Aid in 1984. 

‘There was a time in my life where making that call for help would have meant everything in that moment. There was no one to turn to apart from close family members, to whom I did not want to cause grief.

‘The one thing I held on to was that I hold my own value and I matter. My strength came from that belief and it helped me let go of fear and take the steps one at a time to be free to live my own life. My desire is to support others to find continuous courage they need to create their own path.

‘Aanchal is here to ensure women, men, and children are listened to and by listening we have grown an active and connected community. What Aanchal needs now is a space that honours their desire to stay in touch and give back to others.’

Further information can be found on their website.

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