Established in 1998 by local Bangladeshi women, Shantona sought to provide a separate, safe place for women, children and young people in the Bangladeshi community. Today, Shantona recognises ever-changing communities, responds accordingly and has grown into a diverse and multi-cultural organisation serving the wider BAME community. Our focus still remains on local people, local issues and their needs; this will never be compromised.
Our work has received various awards and recognition for the strengths, achievements and the positive impact made in the community, such as the Duke of York community initiative awards in 2007 and 2012, A1 Business Excellence, and a recently produced Hope Film project received a Leeds Young Film Makers Golden Owl award from Leeds Council. In 2017 our CEO Nahid Rasool also received an Honorary Doctorate for her valued contribution to the public sector.
'Since 1998 Shantona has shown how the power of willingness, passion and belief can change the lives of people and attitudes within the community. Today the organisation has managed to raise the aspirations, self-belief and confidence within families to challenge unacceptable behaviour.
With a multi-cultural understanding and knowledge, Shantona has helped many families who have come from the most vulnerable backgrounds with tailored support that best deals with their situation.
We have gone through our own difficulties, various stages of development, an extension of our building but nothing has stopped us from delivering extremely effective support to children, young people and their families.'
Nahid Rasool, Director
Awards and Achievements
The teams tireless work and dedication to Shantona have steered the organisation in achieving numerous accolades and awards. Most notably the ‘Duke of York Community Initiatives Award’ was won in 2007 and 2012. Shantona also received an A1 Business Excellence award for ‘Best Women’s Centre’ in 2015. In 2007, Nahid was involved as a coordinator from the UKin ‘Genderwise’ transnational European project, looking at gender equality issues before the policy came into practice. 8 Partners from various countries in EU such as Brussels, Italy, Spain and Denmark were involved. Nahid managed to bring cross sectoral, multi-agency approach to push this agenda. Leading the team Nahid's determination and passion in her work has steered the organisation towards great success in delivering various projects locally, nationally and internationally, with the centres projects often been used as a template by authorities and other charity organisations to assist those in need worldwide.
In 2017 Nahid was delighted to have received Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for her work and tireless dedication and significant contribution to public and voluntary services.