Breaking Boundaries in Barking & Dagenham with Nimrah Chaudhry

Today we are getting to know Nimrah who has been working to support the local community in Barking and Dagenham to build and develop more cohesive communities.

Breaking Boundaries is a three-year programme (2018 –2021) funded by Spirit of 2012, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and The Institute of Community Cohesion (Icoco).

It aims to socially connect young people, their families and communities together through regular cricket engagement, fostering mutual respect and friendships by playing, spectating and volunteering.  It is being delivered in 5 cities; Bradford, Birmingham, London (Barking and Dagenham), Manchester and Slough.

Breaking Boundaries places communities and young people are at the heart of the programme as Nimrah highlights:
 

1. What made you decide to become a Breaking Boundaries Community Champion?

I wanted to take the opportunity to gain and develop new skills, while also building upon existing knowledge and experience of volunteering as a leader.

Breaking Boundaries offers a chance to not only deliver impact in your local community through our projects which use sport as a tool to encourage social mixing and cohesion but you gain the skills of planning, leading and delivering that - which seemed really great to me!

The thing that most attracted me to the Breaking Boundaries project was being given the chance to give something back to people in the local Barking and Dagenham community.

Having a localised positive impact on the environment around me seemed really appealing so I was happy to get involved! 

 

2. What do you hope to achieve through your involvement with Breaking Boundaries?

Barking and Dagenham is the home of 61,000 children and young people, which accounts for 32% of its population, and approximately 5,700 children and young people, have some form of educational need or disability. 

This is due to the increased rapid diverse, population growth of 13.4% in Barking and Dagenham, compared to a 7% increase across England.

I think it is imperative to provide opportunities for families and young people in the community to socialise and integrate more strongly. 

The chance to engage with diverse groups, in addition to giving them the chance to experience ways and means of being physically active.

Which is exactly what Breaking Boundaries provides us with the opportunity to not only take part in but be integral in providing and delivering for our local community!  

Taking part in fun and inclusive activities will help to unlock so many more life benefits for our community groups. It will help them to improve their general well-being, develop skills and competencies, thus improving their functional abilities.

Additionally, it really helps with expressing creativity, increasing confidence and will aid in the forging of friendships, and building new relationships which may not have otherwise occurred.

Which allows for a sense of belonging in their community, giving more meaning and purpose in life, and helping to remove some of the negative stereotypes. 

My hope is that through this project I will be able to play a key role in reducing isolation and stereotyping in my local community by providing a healthy and fun way to encourage social activity. Everybody deserves to feel like they belong.