New to Inspiring Change Manchester

Hi all, my name is Amina Dualeh, I am the Programme Administrator at Inspiring Change Manchester [ICM]. I joined the team in March 2021, and I can honestly say that I wish I had joined earlier. I have been working at Shelter as a Service Administrator, where my language skills have come in useful for team members working with clients. I speak English, Arabic and Somali.

In this blog I would love to highlight my experience working with the ICM Programme Team.

I would like to thank the team for making me feel welcome and for the support I have and am still receiving from them, especially Abbie (Development Officer), as she provided support and guidance from day one, and to Jackie (Programme Manager) for giving me this opportunity to join the team.

On the ICM programme, I am given the opportunity to be involved with different projects and work with external organisations. I’m very happy to have had this chance to not only do my primary job, but to also feel that I’m developing my skills and knowledge, and to challenge my inner resource – to step out of my comfort zone and feel valued and trusted to do more than admin work.

I currently take an active role in the Women’s Voices group, co-chair the Access and Inclusion legacy working group and Roadshow project, which will take place in July or August.

Women’s Voices: I am very happy to work with this group of women, who come together to share their knowledge and lived experience. We meet up weekly and discuss various issues such as how to empower women and make their voices heard by services, as well as challenge systems, make them hear the stories of women and listen to how they want to be supported. Rather than being put in a ‘tick box’, they want to be treated individually without being judged, or feel too scared to come forward to get support.

The group also runs training courses for the members. Most recently I attended ‘Feminist Leadership for Social Change’ course led by the Women’s Resource Centre.

A piece of work the group is currently working on is a ‘setting standards for working with women’ guide written by women who have lived it; from a service user and/or work perspective, on how to better support women and I’m so happy that I had the privilege to contribute to creating this.

The Roadshow: We are planning to host a community roadshow where local people will join to celebrate their culture, music, dance – and will enable ICM to possibly podcast the event and meet a wide range of people. This will also be an opportunity for locals to find more about services available within Greater Manchester. The event will take place in July or August. As I have local community connections I will be working with ICM to reach out to community leaders from different ethnicities, such as: Somali, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syrian, Sudan, Caribbean and Kurdish ~ also Religious community leaders, CAHN, Ethnic Health Network, Kath Locke, Windrush Centre, Schools, MACC and Local food networks.

Legacy Working Groups: As ICM is coming into its final year, 5 working groups have been set up to help share the learning of the Programme. The groups are themed around the cornerstones of ICM.  Access & Inclusion; Co-Production & Involvement; Lived Experience in the Workforce; Information Sharing & Partnership Models; Person Centred Working. It has been agreed I will co-chair the Access & Inclusion meetings which consist of the different agencies within the ICM Partnership. We will meet fortnightly, with each group feeding-back on their projects.

You can see from the above that it’s been a varied start for me in the ICM Team.

The ICM Programme is now in the final year after 8 years of learning and testing new ways of working with people experiencing multiple disadvantage. I feel privileged to play a small part to help the team achieve their final goals. I am sure ICM’s legacy work will continue to touch and benefit so many people for years to come, and be a model for existing partnerships, and others, to re-model to benefit people in the longer term.

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