Sheffield charity recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Points of Light award

Sheffield-based charity and campaign group Mums United has received the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award for its work in tackling youth violence and drugs.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:00 pm

Mums United was founded by trustee chairperson Sahira Irshad and is a charity led by mothers in the Sharrow, Nether Edge and Meersbrook areas - they are aiming to raise awareness of rising levels of youth violence and drug exploitation among young people.

The charity is a place for young people to come together and talk about current issues and engage in interactive workshops and sport sessions, including boxing and archery.

The workshops focus on topics including bullying, knife crime, consequences of crime, gangs and county lines, peer pressure, and online safety.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The charity is a place for young people to come together and talk about current issues and engage in interactive workshops and sport sessions, including boxing

Sahira said: “As a charity, we’re here tackling youth violence, and we don’t want to catch the young people at the end of the spectrum; we’re here to catch them before. In our workshops, we talk about many different issues, including knife and gun crime. It’s really important that the Police Crime Commissioner, MP’s and local councillors support our programmes.

"We’ve been around for around three years now, and we’re still saying, please support us. We are mothers who have lived experiences and are tackling youth violence from the grassroots by engaging with people and talking about issues that they wouldn’t normally talk about.”

Dr Shahd Salha, fellow trustee of Mums United, has been coordinating the Mums United Charitable Bank

that provides food, toys and clothing to vulnerable families - it has recently included refugees from Afghanistan who have arrived in Sheffield.

Sahira Irshad with fellow trustee Dr Shahd Salha.

Mums United is now a recipient of a Points of Light award - given to outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community.

In a personal letter to Sahira, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There is no greater role model than a parent, and so it is wonderful that local mums have come together in Sheffield to keep children safe.

“Mums United’ provides a vital safe space for young people where they can learn about knife and gun prevention and start to make positive changes in their lives.

“I was inspired to learn about your other venture – ‘Mums’ Charitable Bank’ – through which you have provided food, toys and clothing to vulnerable families, including newly-arrived Afghan families. The families you are helping will never forget the welcome you have shown to them.”

Speaking about the award, Sahira said: “We are shocked, surprised and very overwhelmed. As mothers, we strive to do the best we can to create positive pathways for the vulnerable, and this award really does lift our morale as the whole team have been working tirelessly to juggle the two different elements of our organisation.

“On the one hand, we have been working hard to ensure programmes are delivered at our community-based clubs and on the other hand, we have been ensuring the donations received for the Afghan families are sorted, packed and distributed.

“Thank you so much for the acknowledgement.”

On Sunday, November 7, Mums United held an event at their youth club at Meersbrook Pavilion in Sheffield to raise awareness of the work they do work.

The event was attended by members of the community, local councillors and Angela Greenwood from the South Yorkshire violence reduction unit.