Last Friday, we were invited to Leicester by MP Jon Ashworth, to meet with various voluntary and community agencies in the Highfields area of the city, in to raise awareness of the support our grants can give, to families in the neighbourhood. All those present at the meeting work closely with families who have been affected by the recent government’s cuts.

Representatives from local educational facilities including, Shenton and Sparkenhoe Primary Schools and Uplands Infant school were there, along with the local police and library services, plus The Race Equality Centre, Open Hands Trust, Akwaaba Ayeh, Somali Development Service and the Highfields Multi Access Centre, where the meeting was held.

Anna’s presentation about our grants programme was warmly received and our posters and contact cards will soon be winging their way to families in need across the south of the city, courtesy of those we met during the session.

Following our meeting we were invited by Jon to visit the Shama Womens Centre (pictured), a brilliant organisation which helps women, particularly from disadvantaged communities, to improve their lives, develop their skills and integrate with the wider community. We were joined at the centre by Deputy Mayor Rory Palmer, chair of the Leicester Child Poverty Commission which recently published a report on levels of deprivation in the city. Rory was very interested to meet FTCT, as he felt our grants, “could support the general aims of the Commission.”

The dynamic director of Shama Womens Centre, Yasmin Nathani proudly showed our group around the centre, and their wonderful sewing room, which offers training opportunities, such as NVQ and access to employment in the Leicester garment manufacturing industry. Many of the women already on the course and those who have passed through it’s doors may be eligible for a grant for their child, making our new partnership with Shama Womens Centre so valuable.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Jon Ashworth for inviting us to these two wonderful events and to Gavin and Radhika from Jon’s office, for organising the day. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Rory Palmer and hope to have the opportunity to work more closely with both Rory and Jon in the future.Lastly we would like to our new friends at the Shama Womens Centre for such a warm wonderful visit and making us feel so welcome.

We have no doubt this will not be our last visit to the centre and hope to be able to support many more families in the Highfields and Leicester area.

Click here to read Jon Ashworth’s own blog post about the visit.