Mums United is a charitable organisation that aims to tackle youth violence by raising awareness within the community.
We spoke to the founder Sahira Irshad about the inspiration behind the organisation, the ways it has grown since it was founded and the struggles these mothers have faced along the way.
Sahira said: “Mums united was set up on the back of the rise of youth violence in our local area. I was seeing more and more young people turning to gangs and I felt not enough was being done to prevent this from happening.
“No one was accepting or acknowledging that this was a problem.”
Since it was formed four years ago, the organisation has expanded immensely. They now have over 60 mums and 40 children that come to the clubs every week.
Sahira said: “The main premise was initially for mums to talk about issues they were facing and to give them a safe space to talk about their concerns.”
Mum’s united have also now made a youth club for children to join and raise awareness on the topic.
She said: “We’re not saying we can stop them from going into gangs, but we can certainly raise awareness, so they have an informed choice.
“We provide a space where they can talk openly about themselves, knife crime and gang crime are symptoms of underlying issues that young people face. They dont wake up one day and decide to join a gang.”
Mums United doesn’t just focus on the young boys who might get into gangs. Sahira emphasised the importance of empowering young girls in the community as well, by teaching them about healthy relationships and encouraging them to lead sessions.
On misogyny Sahira herself has faced, she said: “It’s been a struggle, tackling misogny. We live in very patriarchal communities where womens voices aren’t heard. If you go against the grain, you are ostricised and we’ve experienced that.
“As mothers we nurture our young, we’ve carried them. Our instincts are programmed to protect our children, we want to provide a voice for the mums who don’t often have a voice in the community.”