Neena Julka (Founder Trustee & CEO) SNJ Charitable Trust
Tell us about your organisation, how you started and what you do?
SNJ stands for Success ‘n’ Joy. We spread Success ‘n’ Joy to communities locally and across the miles in India. We started out in 2004 and have been working actively in The Black Country since 2015. We deliver Lifelong learning (Education & Training) and Well Being (Health) through our various projects.
Our current projects are Essential Digital Skills to make this a digitally inclusive community and Bringing People Together to combat loneliness, anxiety & depression. We run Chat & Chai sessions every day of the week on Zoom thus encouraging housebound carers and others to share their experiences, make friends & meet people. These sessions have proved to be very successful!
What has been your greatest achievement?
Our greatest achievement has been our work during the pandemic. We trained communities to use their smart phones smartly to stay connected. We rose to the challenges of the pandemic by ensuring that the needs of vulnerable people were met throughout. We ran Check & Chat sessions, provided Domestic Violence & Bereavement Support and delivered Shop & Drop – delivering English & Asian food to individuals & families.
What is your experience of support received from WVSC?
We have worked with WVSC more actively since joining the network recently. It has been a rewarding experience to work with colleagues from across the sector and gather ideas for community development.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Wolverhampton?
Working with people from across the Black Country has been a pleasure. People are truly grateful for the support we provide. One participant, who looks after their spouse who has dementia gave us the feedback on our Zoom sessions saying, ‘These sessions have kept me sane!’ The most important lesson we have learnt is to listen to the needs of people and respond. This is exactly what we did during our Shop & Drop project. Many Asian families asked for Asian food and we provided the same.
What are some of the challenges you face and how can WVSC help to support your organisation in the future?
Our biggest challenge is to secure funding to respond to the needs of the community. We were unable to do any social events to fundraise. We need ample warning of funding opportunities so that we don’t have to burn the midnight oil to meet the application deadlines. We would also like more technical training sessions e.g. Jamboard and other gismos which we do not even know about! The two main ways WVSC can support us is through training and development and funding, funding, funding! We’ll take care of the rest! We are delighted to share the images of the opening of SNJ Learning Centre at 200 Dudley Road in the iconic building of Lakshmi Sweets & Restaurant by the Mayor of the city Greg Brackenridge! Drop in for a chat & chai!
Where can we find out more?
Would you like to be featured in our Voluntary Sector Focus? Contact Sharon Nanan-Sen on email@example.com for more info!