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Savera UK announces funding award

Savera UK announces funding award from the Women and Girls initiative, of the National Big Lottery Fund

We are proud to announce that Savera UK is the recipient of funding from the Women and Girls initiative, of the National Lottery.

Since Savera was set up in 2010, the charity has been dedicated to tackling domestic abuse within black and minority ethnic communities, and raising awareness among professionals and practitioners of these harmful practices. Savera UK has made an outstanding contribution to protecting some of the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals in our local communities. In recognition of this, and as part of the Women and Girls initiative to continue this mandate, Savera UK has been awarded funding to continue this important work.

The Women and Girls initiative is awarding up to £45 million in projects, delivered by the women and girls sector, that provide ambitious, person-centred interventions to women and girls in need, or at risk of experiencing a wide variety of issues. The aim of this funding is to empower women and girls to take control of their lives.

To achieve funding, Savera UK had to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Increased provision of holistic
  • Person-centred approaches for women and girls at risk
  • Increased role and voice for women and girls in co-producing services
  • A greater number of women and girls supported through the provision of improved specialist support
  • Better quality of evidence for what works in empowering women and girls.

Savera UK is committed to continuing its important work as its Founder, Afrah Qassim, acknowledges, ‘We have already broken down a lot of barriers in our local communities and we want to give more people a way out. We want to make sure that cases, such as what happened to Shafilea Ahmed can never happen again.’ Ms. Qassim continues, ‘We are delighted to have been acknowledged by the Women and Girls initiative, who recognise how important this work is to our communities on a local, regional and national scale. This funding will enable us to continue the good work that we are already doing, but will allow us to deliver at a greater scale than before.’

To further mark this achievement and the changes taking place within the charity, Savera UK would like to congratulate its high-profile patron – Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England – on becoming Chief Executive of Police and Crime Commissioners for England and Wales. Mr. Afzal is a tireless campaigner on issues relating to the rights of women and those affected by the harmful practices of forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation.

Mr. Afzal said ‘Savera means new beginnings and the people Savera helps know exactly what that means.

‘They are rescued from hopeless and desperate abusive relationships, or from families who are determined to harm them through forced marriage or FGM, and given hope, help and a home’.

A survivor who received critical support from Savera told of her experience:

‘On the night of my wedding I left my family home and moved into my husband’s parent’s house as is the custom. My husband’s parents made it clear that I was required to fulfil my duties as a wife and daughter in law - I was to clean, iron, share the cooking and running of the house for the whole family.

‘My mother said “if you leave him you are dead to me, my doors will be closed to you…I knew this was no idle threat. I knew that if I left my husband I would lose my family – honour really is thicker than blood.

‘Savera has offered me a lifeline – I know it’s not over yet and I know there are more challenging times ahead – but I know that Savera will be with me, walking by my side, supporting me. In Savera, I trust.’ 

Follow our progress, and others who have received an award with #womenandgirls

Press Release


Media Enquiries to:

Ngunan Adamu: Mobile: 07540 304 451, Email: ngunan_adamu@yahoo.co.uk

Other Enquires:

Afrah Qassim: Mobile: 07740 780 397, Email: uksavera@gmail.com

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