A week on and Arry is about to open the doors at the Apna in Haslingden for its third day. The inevitable rush to complete things – getting the graphic displays on the windows; touching up paintwork; filling holes in the skirting boards; that last vac…and more, was hectic and so it was a pleasure to relax on Wednesday morning, sit down, and open up shop.
So far we’ve had a lot of interest; and visits from friends, neighbours and people from the community – most wanting to find out what Apna@theOldBank was all about. Arry Nessa, helped by Habiba Shenza, has done a great job in talking to everyone and explaining our hopes for the space, and she’s also been able to sign up a few volunteers to support the work and help run classes and workshops – which start next week.
It’s worth saying again that the Apna has grown out of the work of the Different Moons project. The main project is continuing to interview and record stories from the South Asian communities locally, and the Apna has developed as we’ve discovered in the course of our work that so many people, mainly local women from the Asian communities, feel the lack of having a meeting place locally where they can talk, learn, try new skills – and simply meet one another. The Apna is an attempt to see if we can help with this.