Chai, Chat Connect!

Manoranjan CIC is a new community organisation which engages people across the North West with South Asian inspired culture and provides opportunities for underrepresented communities to be creative. 

Whilst the idea for Manoranjan CIC began well before the pandemic, it has become clear we have a vital role to play supporting communities particularly impacted by Covid-19.

Based in Tameside, a low engagement cultural area, we witnessed first-hand devastating impact on (particularly older) South Asian residents, with higher-than-average deaths and hospitalisations.  One consequence is that families are very nervous about elders, or children, engaging in any activities outside home.  

In response, Manoranjan CIC developed a culturally-sensitive community support programme to increase social connections, boost digital confidence and improve wellbeing amongst South Asian women.

We collaborated with organisations led by women for women in delivering the project.  These are Khushamdid (pre-dominantly works with elderly Pakistani women), Dipak Dristi (mainly works with elderly Indian women) and Cllr Shibley Alam, facilitating a group of Bangladeshi women.

We are thankful to the National Lottery Community Fund for their support to the Chai, Chat, Connect! Project.  We look forward to building on the great success of the project.

‘Feedback from each individual has been very positive.  It helped them to re-connect with each other, encourage them to stay positive in lockdown and reduce their isolation.  They would like to continue with these kinds of activities in the future.  We are thankful to Manoranjan CIC and the National Lottery for this opportunity’ Naila Sharif, Chair, Khush Amdid

‘The outcome was a success that participants learnt how to use and connect with zoom. The overall feedback from the participants was very positive, they all enjoyed it. Their hidden talents came out and learnt new skills. It also gave them the opportunity to meet everyone and socialise virtually and overcome their isolation and loneliness’ Champaben Mistry, Chair, Dipak Dristi

‘This year has been a difficult year for everyone, which has affected many women’s mental health and well-being.  By doing this project, we have made a positive impact on people’s well-being.  We very much are looking forward to get involved in similar projects in the future.’ Cllr. Shibley Alam