Our pleasure to be speaking today with Shaminder Ubhi, director at Ashiana Network, a charity which specialises in helping Black and Minority Ethnic women who are at risk of domestic violence and sexual violence.
#1. So, what’s your favourite word?
#2. The pleasure is truly all ours. What gets you up in the morning?
My cat, Shabbo, especially in the winter mornings.
#3. What do you truly, honestly think of social media?
I think it’s great because it enables people to keep in contact and share with the world but I think it can take over your life. I sit on the fence.
#4. Kindles or books?
#5. We definitely agree. What do you think is the biggest challenge to your industry right now?
It’s pretty much survival. We have a huge funding crisis for our sector and in particular BME – alongside government policies that can have a detrimental impact on women experiencing violence, especially those women with no recourse to public funds.
#6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I have recollections of being a teacher.
#7. What led you to your current career?
I worked for 10 years supporting young people in the housing sector. I got interested in the women’s sector and I’ve never looked back
#8. Can you use your favourite word in a sentence?
Thanks for your interview.
#9. Bless you. Now can you make it rhyme?
Can I deposit my thanks at the banks?
#10. The “content” bank, sure. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take risks, sensible ones, and be more confident in yourself.
#11. Great advice right there. What’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for you?
When someone asked me how I really am. And they really want to know.
#12. Tell us, what’s been your ‘career-defining’ moment?
For me it’s the organisation. We’ve gone from a turnover of £100k a year to a million per year. There’s not been one moment but when I look at the organisation and see how much it’s grown, I feel very proud.
#13. If you won a big award of some kind, who would you thank?
The people along that journey that enabled me; my friends, family and colleagues.
#14. Can you give us a timesaver of the day?
Switch off your smartphone!
#15. Where do you see your industry in 24 months?
I think it’s still going to be challenging, funding isn’t get resolved overnight. There is much to be done to ensure we survive. I’m hoping that we do and that we’re not carrying on with the norm but that we can develop into bigger and better etc and have a bigger voice.
#16. Where were you 24 months ago?
I was deep in writing tenders for a very big contract – we were in a difficult time and didn’t know if we were going to secure a major funding stream. That was two months of stressful tender writing.
#17. What’s interesting fact about your company?
That we are very small. We only have on average 15-18 staff but we are very well-known in the sector and nationally. People think we’re much bigger. We see 600 women and girls a year.
#18. If you could have a 24-minute Skype chat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My father to ask him the questions I never got the chance to ask.
#19. What’s one word you’d want people to describe you with?
#20. Would you mind taking a selfie for us?
Here you go.
#21. What’s your favourite Twitter handle or social media campaign?
I don’t have one! But my son sent me a link to a Tim Minchin address at the University of Western Australia about life lessons. Very true. That stuck with me.
#22. What’s one quote that defines your work ethic?
Work hard but work smart.
#23. What’s been the best part of your day?
Seeing one of my colleagues who is on maternity leave. It was lovely to see her.
#24. Finally, anything to plug?
#RiseTogether is a crowdfunding campaign supporting five of the strongest BME organisations tackling violence against women across the UK. We’re looking to raise £150,000 through this campaign. If that resonates, you can learn more and support the campaign here.