Comments from women attending the Asha Community Action Center

“Asha has given me great learning skills for life, good friendships, confidence and self-belief. I have gained qualifications and succeeded in all courses and activities where needed.“

— A. Petterson

“Being at Asha has helped me to realise that I’ve gained back some of the old me, also my experiences (and there is a lot) that I can offer some various ways to help others in different positions bit the way of coping could be similar.“

— E. Rhyne

How Asha has helped me

Following a very difficult period in my life including a distressing break up and being faced with homelessness, I committed an offence of theft from my employer. I of course lost my employment and in turn, my home. I was sentenced to a 12month community order with 250 hours unpaid work.

My unpaid work was carried out at Asha. Upon arrival on my first day, I was made to feel immediately at ease, I was not judged and was treated the same as any woman attending the centre.

Can Asha help me overcome the isolation?

In the coming weeks I started suffering with depression as my offence was reported in the press and some family and friends were far from supportive. I felt isolated. A member of Staff at Asha suggested that I join one of the courses so I took part in their mentoring course. Not only was I learning new skills but I had opportunity to be part of a group with no pre–conceptions or judgements.

During the time I have spent at Asha attending unpaid work, I have seen many people come to the centre for a variety of reasons and whilst Asha deals with many serious issues it is also a place of happiness, camaraderie and unification.

I am over the worst of my depression now and through the support of the people at Asha I have turned my life around. I now run a small business which has enabled me to earn enough to secure a small but lovely home. I have been involved in some charity events and fundraising. This is something I am now going to do as a volunteer at Asha as I feel this service is invaluable to women across Worcestershire.

How art has changed my life

Since starting art I just don’t know what’s hit me. The other students must be heavily medicated they seem so happy, but mad. We all have the same sense of humour, luckily! Even the art tutor is on something, I’m sure.

I look forward to the classes, but also have a slight anxiety attack on getting ready at home, as I feel I’m not as good as the others and I worry what Becky (tutor) will ask us all to do. I feel more confident doing the projects with guidance from Becky but she has been behind most of the great ideas in my art.

The Art classes with Becky has helped me overcome my anxiety attacks.

The art lessons at Asha in general have made me more relaxed and give me a purpose in life. I really enjoy art and I’ve got to the stage where I feel I can’t get enough of it and the great team that we have all become.

Becky is a great listener and has made me feel better about my guilt that I feel about my daughter’s boarding school.

“The Community Action Center for Women Empowerment is a life saver, can’t put into words how Asha has helped. I have so many good friends. Asha has helped look for courses elsewhere and gain confidence for work. Asha has helped me in so many ways. I now feel like the person I was many years ago, so thank you very much to everyone who has helped me.“

— A. Petterson

“The courses I have attended have inspired me to motivate myself. Having to make the sessions has given me motivation. I feel a sense of belonging somewhere and it’s good! People at Asha are so kind and genuine, helpful, making me so welcome and wanted.“

— E. Rhyne