Women fleeing from domestic violence and forced marriage will be given the chance to socialise and enjoy a free hot meal through a new Bradford-based charitable project.
The Bradford Muslim Women Forum has teamed up with the Anah Project, which provides secure accommodation and support for lone Asian and BME women who have suffered domestic abuse, to organise and promote the scheme, with food donated by the Bradford-based company, Iqbal Catering.
The organisers have chosen to start the sessions this week to coincide with the first week of Ramadan, but it is hoped the project, which will see the women sit down to share a hot meal on a weekly basis, will run for 12 months and beyond.
Sabiya Khan, chairman of the Muslim Women Forum, said the aim of the sessions was to allow the women to come together as a group and reduce any social isolation they may be feeling.
"It is not just about sharing a meal, it is about these women developing social skills that will help their rehabilitation back into the community," she said.
"Women sometimes struggle to move on because they still face certain stigma, but this is about the whole community working together to remove those.
"It is about being more charitable with others and sharing what we have."
Joyce Simon is director of the Anah project which, funded by the Big Lottery, Lloyds TSB and the Henry Smith Foundation, offers safe accommodation for 11 women in Bradford, as well as supporting up to a further 40 a day via its dedicated helpline.
"At Ramadan, you need your family more than ever," she said. "We support single girls who have often had to flee from family and friends, and they need to work together to support each other through the traumatic times.
"It is very important to speak to people who have been in the same situation, and by getting involved in this project, they will know they are not on their own.
"To have a hot meal provided every week is brilliant, and will help the more homely environment we want to create."
Any companies able to get involved with the project by making food donations should contact Miss Khan directly on 07816 469835.