Saheli Hub – Formerly known as Saheli Women’s Group
The Saheli Women’s Group was formed in 1998 as part of the Balsall Heath Forum initiative to set up residents groups in the area.
The group met on a fortnightly basis in which they discussed the needs of local women. The group identified the need for a ‘women only facility’ where women could meet and could become involved in health and fitness sessions and healthy lifestyle activities. In October 1999 the group commissioned a feasibility study through The Digbeth Trust to look into the establishment of a women’s centre which was carried out by Lynne Howell’s.
The study used questionnaires and 2 organised meetings to establish a local view. It took into account the views of 236 local women who indicated an overwhelming response to the establishment of such a centre as it took into account the culturally sensitive needs of the local Muslim women. The study identified the primary activities in the women’s centre should be:
- Health and fitness sessions
- Aerobic/fitness classes
- Health and lifestyle information.
The crucial requirement would be that it was run by women, for women. It would be locally based, fully accessible and with sessions at convenient times.
The group became a registered charity in March 2002.
The fitness suite was launched at the Cannon Hill Training and Education Centre on the 21 April 2004.
Through the Active England’s funding (£218,252 for capital cost for extending the Cannon Hill Training and Education Centre into a fully functioning gym and £159,00 for staff and running costs over 3 years) the “Adventure hub” programme we envisage is a centre which will be the hub of learning (SBC) and adventures through the Saheli Centre. We not only have raised funding for a health and fitness facility with changing rooms, showers and toilets, but, we also have monies set aside to take local residents to do skiing, rock climbing, canoeing, quad biking learning to ride a bike and if they want to active trips! So that they can have an adventure through their local training and fitness centre.
We hope this short history of Saheli Women’s group gives you an understanding of how we have managed to work with different partners to bring a small local women’s organisation a chance to develop and provide opportunities for the women of Balsall Heath to gain confidence, a better and active healthy lifestyle, opportunities to access training and further development and a better standard of life in Balsall Heath.
Saheli Women’s Group became Saheli Hub, Company number: 8373929. Registered charity: 1153202 as of April 2016.