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How Network Aspire has helped me.....

Network Aspire is a youth group that was founded several years ago that aimed to unite young girls from black and Asian minority ethnic (BAME) groups, in order to help provide them with opportunities that would build their confidence, self-esteem, character and equip them with skills that would ultimately empower them. I joined as a young teenager, and now as a young adult, I can definitely say Network Aspire has had a significant impact on my mental wellbeing.

The reason I joined the group to be able to take part in the amazing opportunities that was being provided, from learning fundamental life skills to fun day trips. Now coming from a strict Bengali family, I was limited in taking such opportunities, in fact I remember the day I had to persuade my parents to even let me join Network Aspire! However, I am so grateful they agreed because I was able to join a group of girls from my niche who all shared the same BAME struggles, and being able to have that sense of belonging where everyone understand everyone’s situations and issues easily was so important as a young girl, especially when it’s hard for your none-BAME peers and teachers to understand such issues.

The group has given me and the rest endless opportunities, including allowing me to be able to have my first ever staycation without my family (which they would never have agreed to without being apart of this group), day trips, numerous educational visits such as few to our local police station where we learned so much about our police force and so much more. Even little sessions such as pizza making, smoothie making, craft sessions, healthy eating, fitness sessions and that’s just to name a few that we have partook just to develop our skills and have fun. Moreover, we have been giving several opportunities to contribute towards important causes, such as the likes of fundraising £5000 for street children in poverty-stricken areas.

The most important thing about it all is with every event and session we attended, we all socialised and always laughed and made memories, and I think that’s what makes Network Aspire an amazing group, which has undoubtedly helped bring positivity to our young lives; contributing towards good mental health. Thanks to Network Aspire, they have helped me build confidence by taking advantage of so many events/sessions that I would not think I could do otherwise, they have helped develop essential skills such as organisation and planning, helped educate us more and given us so many fun memories to look back on.

Thank you Shuley for giving us Network Aspire and thank you Hassy and Mahida for always organising things for us!

~ Amy Hussain ~

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