What We Do
Saathi House is an anchor organisation that is committed to supporting women to drive positive change in their lives, in their family's lives, and in the local communities.
Together, we are on a journey to engage, enable and empower women to improve their knowledge, skills, networks, opportunities and leadership potential.
'Saathi' means friendly companion, and reflects the ethos of the centre, a place where local people meet to complement each other.
Our character meets the vision and mission we have set out for Saathi House, and is encapsulated in our organisational values:
We support equality, diversity and social justice for all
We are inclusive of all communities and people of all faiths and none
We will continue to be challenging and advocate for the issues that matter to women and communities
We are entrepreneurial
We are open, transparent and share our work and learning
We value and support our staff and volunteers and embrace cultural, religious and other difference.
Saathi House believes that every woman counts. We are here for all women working to ensure that they can achieve their full potential, develop their talent and skills and live safe, healthy and prosperous lives.
Saathi House’s aims are to:
“ENABLE THE WOMEN OF BIRMINGHAM TO THRIVE IN A MULTI-CULTURAL, URBAN COMMUNITY WHILE STAYING TRUE TO THEIR HERITAGE AND BACKGROUND”.
Saathi House was established in 1977 in response to the emerging problems of immigration and new arrivals into the Ladywood area of Birmingham. Although no geographical limit is imposed on its activities, the Charity was originally established (as the Saint James Language Project) to address the extramural educational needs of younger members of the growing immigrant communities of Aston, Lozells and Perry Barr.
Saathi House is situated in Aston in the Ladywood constituency of Birmingham (one of the top 10 most deprived constituency nationally) with substantial pockets of multiple deprivation. Worklessness and unemployment are well above the city average with 40% of the population being classed as economically inactive. The percentage of ethnic minority residents is well above the city average. For 40% of the population, English is not their first language. The area has seen major civil unrest in 1981, 1985, 1991, 2005 and more recently 2011.
Who We Are
For the first few years Saathi House was administered by the voluntary management committee delivering homework clubs, youth groups and a range of community led projects and services addressing the causes and effects of social and economic disadvantage.
In 1980 we became a registered charity, working with young people from Indian, Pakistani, Jamaican and Bangladeshi backgrounds. Over the last two years, the Charity's renewed activities have continued to be directed principally towards these communities, although most of its recent clients have been local women of Bangladeshi heritage.
Why we exist
Saathi House was founded to address inequalities faced by women and empower them to lead independent lives.
A lot has changed since the 70s, but unfortunately gender inequality persists. Women are at a greater risk of poverty than men, make up the vast majority of domestic violence victims (at least 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lives) and are more likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
To help women overcome these issues, we feel that a women only space provides a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental environment for women to come to access support.
Some of the women who come to the centre have been through traumatic experiences and would feel intimidated if they thought men would be around.
A lot of the women who come to the centre value an all female space where they can build a support network with other women.
We are the only organisation in the Aston area that is serving women and young people in areas of wellbeing, personal development and sports.
We have been pioneers in many fronts and continue to be the platform where women feel safe to engage. Saathi House is a trusted and well respected organisation; this has been built over four decades.