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…

Not knowing what I will expect who will I meet and what will I do. Packing all my memories in one lorry. The day grew closer, my heart began beating faster. Finally the day came, my big move, it was a very long emotional journey and a new chapter of my life.

Sitting in my new house with my crochet hook in one hand and my granny square in the other hand. Thinking ‘wouldn’t it be a dream to teach people how to crochet?’ My dream drifted away thinking of other things. At that moment of my life I didn’t know anyone, my friends in London meant the world to me.

One fresh crispy morning I strolled round my local park – Handsworth Park. I came across a building and outside the building I read the sign SAHELI (thinking ‘mmm that means friends’) ACTIVITIES, written on the whiteboard. I carried on reading. Knitting and crochet. Oh my, I was so excited and was so eager to know what this was all about. Going down the board I carried on reading. Bike riding, arts and crafts and lots more. I saw lots of women going in and out of the building. At this point I was very curious to know what was going on in there.

I was hesitant at first. As I entered the building, I saw lots of activities, lots of women, laughing and talking. I was welcomed by a lovely lady called Shebina. She made me feel so comfortable, I came to the sessions every Wednesday. I really looked forward to these sessions, I used to go straight to the knitting and crochet area. I was consistent at the sessions, this was my ‘me time’. There were lots of ladies making all sorts, I shared all my talents and skills with everyone. As the sessions came to the end it used to sadden me, because at that time that was the highlight of my week.

As time went on I was offered the position of running the knitting and crochet sessions. It’s such a lovely experience and a sense of achievement, teaching women this wonderful skill. Women from from all different ethnic backgrounds come to our sessions. What I love is Saheli is so multicultural. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the knitting and crochet skills are for any age, it’s never too late to master such a skill. The journeys I’ve seen women go through from not knowing how to hold a hook, to now making wonderful pieces of work. You mustn’t shy away from a skill you might become an expert in. Women have walked away with masterpieces. I call knit and crochet an art and it’s something to be proud of. You must follow your passion.

Saheli has been there for me from the beginning of my chapter in Birmingham until now. I started off as a user, now I am part of Saheli and I’m very proud of that. We offer a whole range of activities for women of all backgrounds. Saheli gives you that ability for you to be able recognise what skill you are good at and will give you that aid and support. We have a very big Saheli team who are there to assist you in our activities and will guide you in whatever skill you are interested in. 

SAHELI gave me a new lifeline as I shifted from London to Birmingham.

Ambreen joined Saheli Hub in November 2018