Bradford charity Womenzone has supported over 100 low-income families in the local community through online support services during the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity is also working with Bradford Council to arrange support for 200 vulnerable women and girls who could be experiencing loneliness or isolation during the lockdown and offer support in a variety of languages.
Womenzone have provided resources from national charities to help the local community. They have worked with the Muslim Women’s Council to provide food parcels, Sport England to deliver online activities and the Literacy Trust, who donated books for children and families.
They are also offering online fitness classes, meetings and creating activity packs for users, including a specific scheme to contact over 55s who may be isolated as a result of social distancing.
Volunteers from the charity have been organising talks on Zoom, Whatsapp and posting on social media to keep users up to date on the latest coronavirus news and to provide information on upcoming events.
Womenzone Centre Co-ordinator, Humma Nizami, said: “Womenzone has helped communities across Bradford to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing through a range of online and virtual services including providing telephone befriending support to lonely and isolated women, distributing activity packs and food vouchers to vulnerable and low-income families who on free school meals, delivering fitness classes and healthy eating, supporting our over 55’s wellbeing group on using online tools such as Zoom and WhatsApp video call.
“The majority of our service users are from South Asian backgrounds and have language barriers due to English not being their first language. Therefore it was important that we continued to support them through our helpline and Digital Wellbeing Service where our staff offered advice and information on Covid-19 in a range of languages which worked well as we were able to reassure them and provide up to date advice release through the Government’s daily briefings.
“We are following the Government social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of all our service users, staff and volunteers which at the moment is our main priority. We hope to re-open our centre safely in the next few months once lockdown has eased with clear guidance from the Government.”
Womenzone is based in Bradford Moor and is formed of volunteers from the local community who support women from the South Asian community, including people who have recently arrived in the community as well as first and second-generation migrants.