Coffee Natters


The official launch of Coffee Natters, a new women’s group that is part of One Voice Blackburn, was held in early October.

The Coffee Natters group, operational since early this year, has already conducted many events and projects from mental health to leadership, to day trips and learning more about the local environment.

A major project undertaken by Coffee Natters addressed the area of leadership among south Asian heritage females. The women embarked on a four-week course, named Girls into the Community, at the University of Central Lancashire. Co-ordinator of the project Yasmin Ali spoke at the launch.

The event was hosted by Coffee Natters lead Saima Zeb. At the launch she explained how the group had grown to 20 members in a short space of time.

Jackie Floyd, councilor at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said,

“These ladies and their children do so much in the community, whether supporting litter picking efforts, talking about mental health or simply engaging with other women who may be struggling. They are a real inspiration.”

Dawn Hardman, a mental health expert spoke of the group.

I have long been a supporter of One Voice – and welcomed with open arms the opportunity to deliver a Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK sessions to the new group. I have never felt as fully accepted by a group of people as quickly, such openness, such support and such willingness to take on some quite new, challenging ways of thinking about mental health.

Since then, Coffee Natters attended the World Suicide Day Awareness event. In a society full of sound bites and tokenism Coffee Natters, and One Voice, are making the changes our community desperately needs to help those who are unable to help themselves. I see the group’s commitment to mental health, suicide and dementia, to name but a few, and I think coffee Natters will make such a difference to the local community.”

The event included the presentation of an award to Baiter Sehat lead Nazia Khan for her tireless efforts in creating hundreds of dementia friends and raising awareness of mental health and suicide.

Leader of the Council, Mohammed Khan officially launched the group, and said, “One Voice do some very important work in the whole of Blackburn with Darwen. Over the last ten years I have seen many good projects being conducted by ladies in this town, and more important are now being delivered by South Asian heritage and Arab women – and I congratulate all of you who make Blackburn a better place because of your work.”