ESSEX MULTICULTURAL ACTIVITIES NETWORK

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Past Achievements

EMAN CIC is a Community Interest Company established in 2010 to support people from the South Asian communities in Essex.  Any profits generated by our catering service and sales of homemade food or handmade crafts are invested into our projects to directly benefit our clients.


EMAN's Director, Rizwana Siddiqui has many years' experience of community engagement and health promotion activities across Mid Essex.   


Check out our Facebook page for information and photographs of our past projects and events.

Past achievements include:

Acting as a bridge to statutory services

Community Skills Development: This project, supporting ECC, aimed to develop culturally appropriate "cottage industry" skills for South Asian communities to aid employment prospects, build confidence, support new BME entrepreneurs and promote social inclusion.   Over three years, skills development classes were offered in Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Maldon.

Aagahee or Information Project: A collaboration between the NHS Mid Essex Community Development Programme and Moulsham High School - to tackle issues including domestic abuse and truancy as highlighted by the school.  Group members were supported to build confidence and seek help.

Drop-in Sessions for BME communities: Organised in partnership with Chelmsford MIND and NHS Mid Essex.  During the project's 18 months duration, more than 80 individuals from BME communities visited Chelmsford MIND for the first time and this resulted in the development of several support groups for carers.

Neighbourhood Action Panel: With the local High school and participation from various statutory agencies and local councillors and we were very actively involved in the development of Moulsham Lodge Community Trust.

NHS mid Essex, CDW project: Developing and running ladies only swimming classes and exercise classes. This project was a finalist in “Health and Social care Award 2010” and aimed at reducing cultural barriers for Muslim women to exercise. Due to privacy issues the women do not visit regular swimming pool and our classes has exclusive women-timings, with a lady instructor. This project is now organised by Chelmsford City Council’s ladies only Gym. This gym is very popular with the South Asian community.

ESOL classes: Organised in partnership with Chelmer housing Partnership, Worker Education Authority and Children Centre in Melbourne area. The aim was to link hard to reach community and access to services.  This project is now mainstreamed Through Adult Community College and English for Women.

Promoting Cultural Activities

Local fairs and festivals in Essex: Chelmsford City Council Culture in the Park, Anglia Ruskin University’s cultural days, Essex Book Festival and Essex Cultural Diversity Project (NPO)’s Stand Up for Diversity event, Chelmsford Ideas Festivals, One world festival, Jing Sue partnership with Essex County Council, local fair with Chelmer housing Association and Chelmsford City Council, Basildon, Maldon and Braintree councils,  Chelmsford City Council’s Fling Festival  and Village Green Festival in Southend on sea. 

Ethnic Craft classes with MENCAP: Encouraged getting creative and exploring a range of multi-cultural arts and crafts in these classes. Topics include Indian Head Massage, Rangoli pattern making, Bhangra music and dance and Chinese Ribbon Dancing, Fashion and Textile.

Local BME Skills Development & Good Mental Health support

BME youth group: EMAN was running in partnership with Essex Youth Services and offering girls aged 13-19 in the Chelmsford area a chance to socialise, gain confidence and learn new skills through workshops, talks, volunteering, outdoor activities and trips.

Youth Club: As EMAN is a grassroots organisation, with strong links within the community, local families approached us for help to tackle issues of low self-esteem, loneliness, and depression affecting girls in the Chelmsford area.  Due to cultural barriers, the girls are not allowed or feel comfortable joining a mainstream youth club. We set up our youth club in 2013 to enable the girls to make friends, and saw huge gains in their self-esteem.  The girls have also gained the confidence to disclose issues which they would like support to address, such as domestic violence, child neglect and bullying in school.  Working with qualified youth workers of Essex Youth services, we were able to provide culturally sensitive support to give the girls confidence to stand up for themselves, report bullying, and access support from mainstream services. We encouraged the girls to bring along their school-friends from the wider community, thereby promoting community cohesion through opportunities to learn, socialise and be creative together.  We also provided volunteering opportunities for women from the South Asian community who help run the Youth Club, thereby building stronger inter-generational links within the community.

Collaboration with NGDA: In 2013-14, we also ran projects with NGDA to targeted BME youth. This was integrated with our hard-to-reach Muslim youth, to help understand and fight stigma associated with teenage parents and young offenders. 

National Citizens Service: From 2016-2017, we started participating in NCS programme with the Essex County Council. This provided youth with opportunities to gain personal and social development skills through volunteering with local charities, taking on new challenges and meeting new friends.

BME workshops and classes: EMAN ran a series of workshops and classes, including fashion and textiles, Muslim ladies study group, silk painting workshops, cooking, computing, etc.