Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Essex, particularly those living in south Asian communities, have received confidence-building support and empowerment in the form of the Essex Multicultural Activities Network (EMAN).

EMAN, a community interest company, delivers physical activity and positive activities to females from the Asian community to help them gain confidence and independence, overcome any issues concerning cultural stereotypes or social isolation, and integrate them into the local community.

Asian women do not always feel that they can spend money and time on themselves and here they are given the support and mentoring to be able to do this. Many of the women involved in the project only left the house to do a food shop. Mental health can also an issue and so by creating a safe space for the women, EMAN can work alongside them to give support.

Activities range from keep fit classes to arts and crafts sessions, while the heritage and traditional skills of the South Asian community is celebrated at local events, fairs and festivals.

To find out more details about the group, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EMANcic