Peer outreach approach

When we identified groups/people who were not coming to Pecket we worked hard to target information and visits to these groups; ask them how we could make our building and courses more ‘user friendly’ for them. Sometimes we were a bit nervous of new people and situations. For example: when there were language barriers; our inexperience of certain disability issues or how to work with drug users. But we didn’t let that stop us and our confidence grew gradually. We are still learning. We were always delighted when new individuals or groups got involved. Here are two examples:

1. Tallash – early on we recognised that not many Asian women were coming to Pecket even though lots of Asian people live in West Yorkshire. We asked Shammi Malik a community health worker to help us find ways of making our college and courses more accessible to Asian women. She introduced us to lots of women and encouraged them to come to the college. We were nervous as we didn’t speak Asian languages but through the interpreters we learned that the women were nervous they wouldn’t us! We soon relaxed and learned lots from each other. We helped the group plan their own women only courses which they named Tallash which offered educational visits, reading and writing classes, English, confidence building and creative activities. This group later became SABAR Support Group for Asian Women offering support to help Asian women with mental health problems.

Below is a photo of a beautiful silk painting produced by Tallash participants:

Tallash asian ladies group wall hanging

Shammi was interviewed for our oral history project so you can read more about this work in our oral history.

Below are some photos taken during Tallash courses:

We contacted UNIT 51 a drug and alcohol project based in Halifax and realised after our initial visit we needed to visited a few times be gain the trust of people there. After some time a group came to Pecket and liked what they saw. We helped them plan and run their own residential weekend which was a real success.

Below are some photos taken during the Unit 51 course:

One member Lindsay became very involved in Pecket as a volunteer, Director and later paid worker. He has been very involved in this project as a Steering Group member and is now a Director and co-treasurer.