The charity making life better by water

London Girls’ Group - Mariam and Tasnim

We’re working with a group of young Somali women and girls in Bethnal Green to co-create an inclusive programme of canal-based activities that will engage the wider community.

Girl sits in a kayak with a paddle while being instructed. The rest of the London Girls Group stand around with paddles

Mariam and Tasnim are members of the London Girls' Group.

Mariam

I feel happy when at the canal.

I've been involved in the London Girls' Group by helping with trips, canal walks, and waterways arts and crafts.

My main motivation in being involved is to spend time by water with friends, and feel safe and comfortable in doing so.

I've enjoyed exploring new activities and knowing that the canal is not just for white people.

I've also benefitted by learning how canals are maintained and looked after, so I can play a part in keeping them nice for others.

The canal is important to me as it's local, and I love the atmosphere by water. I find the water calming, and that being close to it has improved my mental wellbeing.

London Girls' Group paddle kayaks on the water

Tasnim

Being by the canal usually improves my wellbeing. I find it very calm and relaxing. It is the water and the nature that has that effect on me. Recently, I witnessed a beautiful swan nesting with her eggs and now visit every week to see if the cygnets have hatched.

Being part of the London Girls' Group has allowed me to spend time by water and make a difference to the environment by keeping the area clean and maintaining the habitats for wildlife.

It's also helped me gain skills that can help me in real life situations in the future. Contributing ideas, preparing for activities, helping to purchase equipment and being part of a team are all things that I do regularly, which will be useful for future employment.

Without the canals, I wouldn't be able to experience the activities that can be done in and around the water. I wouldn't be able to do fun things like kayaking, canoeing, and going on boat trips.

These opportunities were in partnership with the Women's Inclusive Team.

Last Edited: 21 August 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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