About Us

Creating stronger

communities by

uniting as one.

19

Super Women

130

Changed Lives

35

Years Of Services

15

Great Programs

Our Vision

We envision a world where every woman can empower herself, her family and community to succeed.

Our Mission

To empower women to become more active, economically, educationally and socially, through a range of activities to develop their confidence, employability skills, health and wellbeing.

Our History

Shama Women’s Centre came into existence 35 years ago, when a group of local BAME women got together to provide culturally inclusive support and activities to local women. The project grew rapidly, and the unincorporated organisation received support from the Leicester City Council to provide an array of services to the increasingly diverse local community.

The support from Shama Women’s Centre included empowerment, camaraderie, peer support, training and upskilling, as well as information, advice and guidance.

In August 2000, the organisation successfully registered as an incorporated charity (Reg no.1087995). For the next several years, Shama Women’s Centre continued to work alongside the local voluntary sector as a niche provider of culturally conducive support services, gaining high recognition through various accreditations. We have been recognised nationally being ‘highly commended’ by Lloyds Bank Foundation for valuing our volunteers.

Khudeja Amer-Sharif, CEO, Shama.

Our Aim

Through social, educational and emotional support we have helped thousands of women to gain confidence, qualifications and into work. With our help, local BAME women, who might otherwise experience isolation due to cultural barriers, have become active and valued members of the community. We are extremely proud of the work we do and the women who have achieved so much with our assistance. Many have become volunteers and ambassadors for the Centre wanting ‘to give back to the community’.

We are the only women’s centre in the heart of Leicester, that provides a culturally conducive environment with multi-lingual staff and volunteers delivering a range of accreditations such as IT, ESOL, Mental Health Awareness, accredited level 2 business courses and more. We have a purpose built industrial textiles training centre, helping hundreds of women train and gain employment or start their own business. Our Information Advice and Guidance services support women to search, apply and prepare for jobs and gain employment including setting up their own businesses. In addition, we offer women opportunities to support each other through peer groups. Our on-site childcare means women with pre-school children can access support without spending a fortune on childcare. Our mental health and domestic abuse counselling services help break down cultural barriers and enable women to achieve independence and success.

Meet the team

Chair

Yasmin Nathani MBE

I came to Shama looking for some peer support and to gain some self-confidence back in 1988. I completed several certifications with Shama and this gave me a real sense of achievement. After being wonderfully supported by Shama Womens Centre, I wanted to give something back to help others. I joined the committee at Shama in 1996 and have been involved with driving the organisation forward ever since. As the Chair of Shama since 1997, I have been actively involved with encouraging Since 2019, I have been volunteering my time to run the Welfare and Immigration advice clinic at Shama and this service enables me to really help people facing some terrible circumstances. My support to the community has been nationally recognised and I was privileged to receive an MBE in 2016 for my commitment to the community and empowerment to women. Following this, I was recognised at the British Muslim Awards and won the Muslim in the community award in 2017. Shama has given me a lot to be proud of and I want to ensure it continues to do the same for others in the community.
CEO

Khudeja Amer-Sharif

Over 30 years of experience in Leadership roles in Finance Education and the Voluntary Sector; leading diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success. Implementing organisational change, spearheading Equalities and Diversity agenda. As CEO for Shama Women’s Centre, pioneered innovative mental health support programme, exceeding KPI’s, improving outcomes in education, work, and health inequalities. An advocate for patients through various Board Lay Roles within NHS, Prince 2, MBA, MICM.
Administration Manager

Havvan Easat

I have working for Shama Womens Centre since its inception in 1985. I am responsible for keeping the Centre's financial and administrative systems, including accounts, Payroll, invoicing all payments and customer services. I am passionate with the work Shama does in empowering and providing safe recreational and educational spaces for women from all walks of life. Diploma accounting, NVQ Team Leading, EDI cert. in Management, NCFE Equality and Diversity, NCFE in GDPR.
Nursery Manager

Sultana Miah

I have 20 years of experience in childcare profession. I have completed a Foundation Degree in Children, Families and Community Health, a Degree in Health Studies and a Master Degree in Education Practice. I am a friendly, caring and compassionate Child Care Manager and I have worked at various settings in Leicester and supporting nurseries in raising their standards and help achieve a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.
Business Development

Krupa Bhatt

Having worked in the voluntary sector for over 10 years delivering business development support to small, medium and large charitable organisations. A great understanding of charity governance and social enterprise development, with a range of successes with supporting groups access funding ranging from £2000 - £300,000. I have supported Shama with developing a range of packages to diversify their income and enable them to become sustainable, as well as raising their profile significantly across all sectors.
Bereavement Counsellor

Shaheena Haider

A conscientious, thoughtful, professional, and experienced counsellor (MBACP), with a great level of integrity. Maintaining high standards, working therapeutically with children, young people, adults, couples, families, and groups. Expertise includes working within trauma, abuse organisations, charities, University, Schools, Relate. In addition to counselling, I deliver training. Mindful of the cultural barriers faced by individuals in communities. I am extremely motivated and passionate about promoting change and making a difference in people’s lives.
Admin Officer

Sajeeda Badat

I joined Shama Womens Centre in December 2015 as an administrative assistant and have enjoyed every minute of my time spent at the centre. My duties are extensive and includes supporting the CEO in funding application management for funding purposes, HR, co-ordinating examinations processes liaising with Tutors and examining bodies.
I have recently taken on the role of a Deputy Safeguarding lead
I gained a level 2 certificate in Information, Advice and Guidance and a Level 2 in GDPR.
Deputy Nursery Manager

Hemlata Modi

I have been working at Shama Nursery since 2002 and have an NVQ Level 3 qualification in childcare. I am trained in Paediatric First aid, Safeguarding, Food and Hygiene. I am a SENCO for children who need extra support and a key person to a group of children within the setting for which, I assess and plan in order for them to develop and progress in accordance with the EYFS Framework.
Bereavement Counsellor

Zubeda Hafejee

I am a diligent, considerate professional and experienced counsellor (MBACP) Working attentively and therapeutically with my clients.
My career has led me to work within diverse communities, aware of cultural dilemmas facing them. I provide counselling and deliver training to support individuals and organisations.
Previous experience includes working within trauma and mental health within charities. Creating an awareness, educating others and making a difference in society is my passion and a commitment.
Wellbeing Therapist and Trainer

Sadaf Akhtar

I offer alternative & complimentary wellbeing therapies & services. I am a qualified Coach/Trainer & the founder of Resonate Success. I embed meditation, mindfulness & clinical hypnotherapy into my practice. An integrative, therapeutic approach utilising NLP, CBT, psychotherapy & neuroscience to improve mental wellbeing. NCP, ASFH, NCH.
Receptionist Administrator

Sundip Mahal

I have been with Shama Womens Centre since 1997. I am responsible for making sure clients get the service they need and help develop administrative systems to support this. Shama Womens Centre’s vision to empower women from all backgrounds is something that l feel very passionate with and gives me a great sense of purpose at my place of work.
I have a Diploma in Business Administration, NCFE Equality and Diversity, NCFE in
GDPR level 2.
Employment Advisor

Sumeya Daud

Qualifications / credentials: Certificate in Advice Work (University of Leicester)

Sumeya Daud has been working as an Information and Guidance Officer at the Shama Women's Centre since 2016. Her role is supporting women overcome barriers and access different routeways into employment. Sumeya facilitates a weekly Job Club and CV Workshop and monthly Confidence building and Interview Skills workshops. Her motivation is helping women retain work whilst also becoming financially independent and increasing in self-esteem.

Information, Advice & Guidance Assistant

Salma Limbada

My name is Salma Limbada I am an Information, advice and guidance assistant. I help run the job club, where we help ladies look for employment and assist them during the process.
Receptionist Administrator

Mariam Daud

I have worked at Shama Women’s Centre for 4 years as a receptionist and Admin worker. My work involves helping members and service users with their enquiries face to face and over the telephone. I assists in the day to day running of reception and administrative duties
I am passionate about working with women from all walks of life and being part of Shama’s vision for the future.
Volunteer Co-ordinator

Beena Solanki

I have a lifetime of volunteering experience. I have volunteered with the Centre for a number of years prior to joining the team in 2019 as a Volunteer Co-ordinator; to support women into volunteering. In addition to my diverse experience of working with volunteers, facilitating groups and delivering training over the course of 20 years – I have passion for volunteering and empowering women.
Programme Coordinator

Dimple Patel

Hygiene Operative

Bilqis Zaman

I have volunteered with Shama for a number of years prior to joining the team in 2020 as a childcare assistant. My duties also include ensuring a safe and hygiene environment of the centre.
I have a CACHE Level 3 qualification in childcare and education. I am trained in safeguarding, first aid & food hygiene.
ESOL Tutor

Wessam Abdelghany

ESOL Tutor, 8 years’ experience of working with adults to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the English language. Previously 7 years of experience as an English Teacher at a secondary school. Up to date working knowledge of planning, preparing, and teaching ESOL to different age groups. Member of NATECLA, the National Association of Teaching English and Community Languages to Adults. PGCE Level 3, BA English and Literature.
ICT Tutor

Firoza Pathan

Textile Tutor

Zarina Sacranie

I provide Industrial textiles training in overlocking and lockstitching at Shama and have helped numerous women gain employment, set up their own business and gain employment.

Domestic Abuse Worker

Working with partner agencies and other professionals in supporting and empowering women, children, families and victims of all types of abuse in the community

Why not join us?

Without the help and commitment of our amazing staff and volunteers, Shama Women’s Centre wouldn’t be what it is. We are always looking for volunteers to support across a range of activities.

Safeguarding matters to Shama

If you are concerned about safety of anyone connected with Shama Women’s Centre (staff, volunteers, service users) you can report your concerns as outlined in Shama Women Centre’s Adult Safeguarding Policy.

Copy available in confidence by phone
0116 2514747 or email info@shamawomenscentre.co.uk