Croydon is the second highest populated borough in London with over 385,000 residents; there is a large Muslim community accounting for more than 8% of the total population.

Mum’s Space primarily focusses on providing a safe, confidential, social environment to facilitate open, honest conversations: promoting personal growth, sharing knowledge and experience and encouraging inclusivity and integration with the wider community.

One of the highlights of the programme is the story of this Muslim mother…

Mum A. is married with four children. She joined the Mums’ Space group during lockdown, while working from home, stuck, feeling lost, stressed out, overworked, isolated and seeking her own space with other women. Shy, quiet, and reserved in nature, she was hesitant to approach the group as she felt devalued in her roles as just a mother and a wife at home. Her frustration and stress levels increased further, which prompted her to reach out. She listened to mums sharing their hobbies; saw motivational photos and posts and gradually she felt inspired to open up about her love for plants, sharing how to take care of them and how to grow them from cuttings.

Over a short period of time, mums asked if she sold her plants and ‘plant discussions’ became one of her many highlights which led to her ‘inspiring’ planting tutorial session on Zoom, initiated by a request from the group: “I was inspired by others, who started
businesses on the group”.

With encouragement and positive feedback, she began to see that her ‘hobby’ might have potential to become a business as different possibilities presented themselves on the group. Through one of the co-ordinators and a mum, she was encouraged to enter the ‘Business
Idea Competition’ run by the Croydon Best Start MyOutspace Programme. She did; and won an award!

She is now growing her business, going from strength to strength, selling her plants at local street markets and stalls and has a presence on social media. She also started using her garage to make it a home business, operated as a ‘pop up’ space. Her plants were showcased very creatively at the recent Mums’ Space Tea Party Celebration event.
‘I would not have even entered the competition without Mums’ Space and now I have actually won the competition. It has brought so much attention to my business.’

Growth and success are embodied in this mum’s overall health and wellbeing since joining Mums’ Space, through which she now has her sense of purpose, networking opportunities within wider communities and long-lasting friendships

Thank you for today, I was quite unmotivated in the morning and you were what I needed to pick me up. I appreciate you all.
Mum L

The Mum’s Space programme achieves the following:

• Reducing loneliness and isolation through social engagement with neighbours and the wider community. Mum’s Space is first and foremost a social, friendship group; offering participants a welcoming environment in which to meet new people and make new friends.
• Providing structured problem solving techniques; everybody could do with a little help with family life and we’ll provide the framework and individual sessions to help Muslim mums.
• Providing guest speakers and practical workshops on a variety of topics to educate and inform; the project team will define the first few sessions and after that the participants will determine the topics that are most important to them.

Working with the whole family and listening to the needs of our participants. Home-Start Croydon doesn’t want the improvements they help to create to be limited to the people attending the group; they want their families and children to benefit from their new found knowledge and confidence and for them to actively participate in community life.