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. What started off as 2 women seeing a need in their local community and working hard to address this together, has now grown into a staff team of over 20 supporting women, children and families with a range of issues and advocating for BAME communities across Leeds.
Shantona is at the heart of Harehills, where our multi-cultural organisation responds to needs of local people and local issues and this will never change.
'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 team's 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. Recently a production from our Hope Film Project received a Leeds Young Film Maker's Golden Owl award from Leeds City Council. In 2007, Nahid was involved as a coordinator from the UK in ‘Genderwise’, a transnational European project, looking at gender equality issues before 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 for her work has steered the organisation towards great success in delivering various projects locally, nationally and internationally, with the centre's 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 an Honorary Doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for her work, tireless dedication and significant contribution to public and voluntary services.