Samosa Sisters – Women’s Empowerment Project

Funding awarded by the Alec Dickson Trust supported Samosa Sisters to run a volunteer training programme, which covered the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, FGM and forced marriage.

Volunteer’s Training on women’s rights

In 2017 Samosa Sisters received funding from The Alec Dickson Trust to run a  training programme for their volunteers, which covered the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, FGM and forced marriage. 7 Volunteers were able to take part in this training programme.

Samosa Sisters aim is to build strong supportive networks and to overcome some of the isolation and discrimination of BAME Women communities. The work funded by ADT has helped to further achieve this aim and Samosa Sisters have reported being extremely proud to have empowered and educated a number of women who would otherwise be vulnerable and without any support.

Since the training programme, volunteers have already run 5 workshops to different organisations working with women, which have been a huge success. After providing training about forced marriage and vulnerability of asylum seeking women, UNISON Women’s North East chose Samosa Sisters as their charity of the year 2017.

This project has also attracted professionals and academics from the local area who are now dedicated volunteers of Samosa Sisters and helping in their new project ‘’Seven women, Seven Stories’’

Case Study:

NB names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Susan came to the UK about 3 years ago. She is a survivor of rape and domestic abuse; as a result of physical abuse she became partially blind. She was refused asylum early this year and her local authority refused to support her, as being a refused asylum seeker she is not eligible for support. Fortunately Susan’s aunt lives in the UK so she was not forced to live on the streets, but she has been sleeping on her aunt’s floor for months. Her aunt was unable to provide her with any financial support and she had no other source of income.

In order to get money she was forced into prostitution and as a result she became pregnant. However, as she didn’t have legal status she was still vulnerable, so one of her friends (a service user of Samosa Sisters) referred her to the team. With the help she received through Samosa Sisters, she was able to understand her rights in this country and how to access help and support from other organisations.

Samosa Sisters trained volunteers helped her with language barriers by making her appointments with the relevant agencies and helped her to find a legal aid solicitor, who then prepared a strong human rights case for her and as a result Susan received her right to remain in this country and now she is a mother of a very beautiful 2 weeks old baby girl.

If the volunteers hadn’t had the training on these issues, it would have been extremely difficult for them to understand Susan’s case and to provide appropriate support.

The Alec Dickson Trust have subsequently awarded Samosa Sister’s with a follow on grant in July 2018 to provide further training for their volunteers.

About Alec Dickson Trust

We support young people who, through volunteering or community service, aim to enhance the lives of others, particularly those most marginalised by society.