Muslim Women’s Network UK is a national charity based in Birmingham. We have been operating for over 15 years and have won awards including a National Charity Governance Award in 2019 for Improving Impact and won £5000. We work to promote equality and improve social justice for Muslim women and girls. We do this by:
- Providing direct help through our national helpline and counselling services
- Conducting research into problems affecting Muslim women and girls
- Developing resources (e.g. information booklets and videos) which can be accessed by women, other charities and frontline professionals
- Training / capacity building of women so they are better aware of their rights
- Carrying out campaigns to raise awareness
- Carrying out advocacy work and influencing decision makers in government and public bodies
Although we are a national charity, 25% of our service users are from West Midlands. Hence we have a caseworker to also help women in local communities.
Our trustees are highly respected and award winning professional women who oversee the charity. They include a lawyer, barrister, academic, GP and a campaigner. More details can be found here. They dedicate their voluntary time to ensure that the charity has strong governance, all funding expenditure provides best value for money and projects are properly monitored and evaluated. On a day-to-day basis the charity is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers led by our Executive Director who was awarded an MBE in 2018.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
Help us to help more Muslim women and girls in need by supporting us to secure our own office space in Birmingham from where we can run our services. We estimate needing in the region of £190,000 to do so, including legal fees, survey fees, and disbursements as may be applicable. We are aiming to obtain a mortgage for approximately £90,000 to fund our purchase but we need your help in raising the remaining £100,000. If do not hit our target then we will look to identify a cheaper property so any funds raised whatsoever will still help us achieve our aim. If we exceed our target, we will still use it to fund the purchase and will seek a lower mortgage advance. A smaller mortgage will mean lower monthly payments and more money available to help our service users and projects.
We have been operating from rented offices for over 10 years. Our current offices are very small and restricting our potential to achieve great changes; for both our service users and socially as a whole. If our staff and volunteers were all in at the same time, we would not all fit in! Moving to larger offices means paying even more rent, which is not a viable option for us. If we purchased our own property, the mortgage payments would be cheaper than the rent. However, we need a substantial deposit to be able to secure a place and secure lending. This is why we need your help! Having a larger and our own office space will mean:
- We can expand the helpline – currently we can only have two people answering the phones at the same time. Despite this our helpline team is helping 1200 individuals a year. We would be able to help many more individuals in a crisis situation, including escapingabusive situations, if we were able to increase the number of call handlers that can take calls at the same time.
- We can expand our counselling service – currently we can only provide telephone counselling. We would be able to help more service users and provide face-to-face counselling too if we had the appropriate space.
- We can employ more case workers and outreach workers – currently we only have space to accommodate one case worker but even there is a clear demand for more.
- Women in need of help can visit our offices e.g. via drop in centre - currently women from local communities cannot visit our offices due to lack of private space where confidential conversations can be held. The caseworker currently makes home visits, which is resource intensive and not always appropriate or possible depending on the circumstances. This means that less women are helped due to a lack of space.
- We could provide space for survivor groups to meet – providing we manage to buy a place big enough, we could provide a space for women to meet and collaborate; this depends entirely on whether we can meet and/or exceed our target