“I’m one of the founding members of the Hamara centre. When we first started it was just a little space and there was nothing there for the elderly; now we have so many groups using our services. It’s in the heart of the community so people can walk down and because we have been here for a long time; people know us. Sometimes we may hear of someone out in the community; and we’ll go see them, the centre benefits the whole community. ‘Hamara’ means ‘Ours’ and everyone is welcome here. There are no restrictions, it’s not only for Asians or any other ethnic groups; it’s for everyone.
I used to own my own dairy business. I delivered milk when we used to get milk delivered to the house. I remember having to get up at 04:30am every morning and going to the dairy farm. In the early 90’s, Europe started importing cheap milk in plastic bottles and that was the end of my business; I could not compete with the supermarkets. I fractured my spine as part of the job and I never worked again.
I come here ever Thursday, to the luncheon club. We talk to each other and we get to meet different people. It has improved people’s lives and we share our daily problems, it gives us a bit of relief. You can get a lot of problems such as depression when you are stuck at home. Some people don’t watch TV, they don’t work and they have nobody. This is a little bit of an entertainment for them.”
Hamara Healthy Living Centre brings communities together by providing information, advice and community activities to increase cohesiveness. Funding from Leeds Community Foundation has supported luncheon clubs, outreach and befriending services and health and well-being projects.
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