I felt nervous but excited talking about it (the big move). Embracing a new adventure, a new chapter of our lives. Of course I’d lived in London all my life and the thought of moving to a whole new city was daunting but everything has a first time. I guess...
“Would you like to come along to the gym with me?” “Where is this gym?” I asked. She replied: ”Around the corner.” I said: “Are you saying there is a gym not too far from here, and I never knew about it?” Oh, yes, there was SAHELI!
Saheli means 'Friend' in many Indian languages. For many members of Saheli Hub, it has been a friend for life, there for them through life's changes and challenges. Hub Manager Shebina Gill reflects on the many times a girl or woman may need a Saheli in their life.
My name is Eleanor Hoad and I run the community garden in Handsworth Park in partnership with the Friends of Handsworth Park. I am passionate about growing food in the city and reconnecting people to nature.
Me and my family, we arrived in this country from Brazil on June 26, 2006. I didn't know, but this same day Saheli was born too! I believe in God and I believe that He controls all things. I also believe that all things work together for the good of those who love God. So I really like the idea that Saheli was God's plan to bless many lives, including mine and my family.
I was told by a friend there was a women’s group in Balsall Heath that had an amazing adventure activity scheme for young girls – the organiser Naseem Akhtar was really something! She said I should go along and meet her maybe see if there was any opportunity to volunteer? I rang apprehensively and was invited to the Balsall Heath Community Forum.
Knowing I had a passion for sports, a friend of mine forwarded an advertisement from the Birmingham Road safety team which put a call out to recruit and train the first team of cycling instructors for Birmingham. I instantly thought I want to do this, but I didn’t own a bike and the last time I had been on one was when I was 16. I called the organiser and explained this and he encouraged me to still come along and that he will take care of the rest. I turned up and fell off my bike! The end, no- my journey had just begun…
When I first started at Saheli, I knew that the name translated in English meant friendship. This was a good sign as to what was to come. During my time working at Saheli, I have had the opportunity to meet all different types of people, from different cultures, ages and races. All of these having made an impact on me in one way or another.