Sahara women's project in Preston to expand services to men

Manager of Sahara, Zafar Coupland
Manager of Sahara, Zafar Coupland
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A community project working with women in Preston is to expand its services to men.

Sahara supports predominantly black or minority ethnic women dealing with domestic abuse and unemployment.

The centre, in Fishwick Parade, provides support and training in English and computer classes, among others.

Now it is gearing up to widen its net, providing its services to men as well.

Manager Zafar Coupland said: “I set up a community forum to find out what the needs are. I know from public health profiles that diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol are the things that are a real worry to people and men don’t always want to asks things.

“We asked the male population - what is it you want, what are your needs?

“They wanted English classes, computer skills and more information on health and wellbeing.

“So the community forum will share their views to shape the future of the project.

“There was nothing cohesively for everybody to go so I put a business case together for my trustees for the vision going forward.

“We want to change attitudes in terms of family, with domestic violence for instance and we have got to target the male population.

“We want mixed classes, we want that cohesion. We want that interaction with communities.

“I’m hoping that through that we can have dialogue to have meaningful discussions about other major issues.”

The new rooms, which are being adapted at the moment, form an extension to the current centre and are sectioned off into two large meeting rooms and a kitchen with space for people to gather for community events.

Zafar hopes to launch the new programme in January.