30 Years in the Community: Building a Relationship

30 Years in the Community: Building a Relationship

JAN Trust has been around since 1989 and that means we’ve been able to build trust with local women, allowing us to tackle some of the most difficult and sensitive issues in society.

30 years ago, our founder Rafaat Mughal OBE recognised a need for a service to help marginalised women. Local women had been approaching her for help because they felt they had nowhere else to turn, had difficulty accessing British services and had no safe space to talk about their issues. Especially for BAME and Muslim women there was, and remains now, a lack of representation and understanding from authorities on the needs and concerns of these women.

Over the last three decades, JAN Trust has been able to build a trusting relationship with vulnerable and marginalised women in the local community. As a familiar face, we are able to broach topics that perhaps political or governmental authorities would have difficulty with, especially in hard to reach communities. Issues such as FGM, forced marriage, and extremism can be talked about openly here, and we focus on educating and engaging with local people to help combat the problems that may affect them. Our work includes working with schools to raise awareness of these problems, and working with young people and with women and mothers to prevent and tackle online extremism via our highly acclaimed pioneering Web Guardians™ programme. Last year we also launched our Another Way Forward project, which teaches young women about the different forms of extremism and how to prevent it. Our active role in the local community allows us to help families to protect themselves and others from extremism.

Our history of working with women from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds means we understand on a personal level the concerns of local women. We provide advice and support in a number of languages, and are sensitive to the religious and traditional requirements of service users. Furthermore, vulnerable women with experience of FGM, domestic violence, or forced marriage situations may feel more comfortable approaching a known, a trustedorganisation for support. Considering the taboos regarding some of these topics, and the difficulty or danger associated with speaking out for some women, our centre is vital to the safety of those who may not feel able to access help elsewhere.

Our 30 years of experience gives us a unique position to be able to help people. This has been recognised by various public figures:

“I was struck by your reference to enabling vulnerable communities to feel part of society rather than apart from it. It is salutary to consider the experiences that must have led the Trust to describe its work in such terms.” – Justine Greening MP, Former Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities.

“Your emphasis on empowerment and citizenship is one that we particularly support and your expertise working with women and communities is extremely valuable.” – Rt Hon. Nick Clegg Former MP and Deputy Prime Minister.

“Your charity has an impressive track record in this field, providing a visible and valuable front in tackling extremism ideology in Britain today.”- Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

We’re proud to have been going for 30 years, and can’t wait for the next 30 – click here to find out how you can support our vital work and celebrate our 30th anniversary with us!

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