A Burngreave resident who has helped numerous local parents into education is celebrating her success after receiving a special award at a glittering national awards ceremony. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) New Deal for Communities and Neighbourhood Management Awards 2005, held in London and hosted by Baroness Andrews, Minister in the ODPM, saw Rashida Hassanali win the Personal Achievement for a Resident Award for her work with Burngreave New Deal for Communities.
A mother of three young children who all attend Firs Hill School, Rashida started her community work as a volunteer after getting involved in her children’s learning. The school was struggling with little engagement from parents so Rashida helped to establish the first parent-education course.
After a year as a volunteer, Rashida started paid-work through a BNDfC funded project as a community education co-ordinator at Firs Hill and St Catherine’s Primary.
Three years on from setting up the very first course as a volunteer, there are about twenty courses at both schools ranging from Islamic Textile Design to Move into Social Care.
All the courses are driven by the desire of parents and other local people to build self-confidence, gain qualifications, have the chance of getting job, support their children’s education and expand their interests.
“I am really pleased to receive this award because I am aware of how much potential there is in the community here.The things holding people back are their lack of confidence, not recognising the skills they already have, and possibly childcare.
“It frustrates me to think that there’s so much talent in this area – people who can sew, cook, sing, play instruments, speak numerous languages and are skilled trades people – yet this isn’t given the >credence that it would get in some other areas of the city.
“But we’re trying to change that and increase people’s confidence as well as their skills – it definitely gives me a lot of job satisfact