Impact Case Study: Atoshi Shaha from TiffinWalli ® CIC

Atoshi Shaha joined as a volunteer with Newham social enterprise TiffinWalli ® CIC. She got involved with the enterprise during lockdown after suffering from post-natal depression. Here she connected with other women around cooking and food preparation and discovered she too can cook something special, an amazing yoghurt desert, which recently delighted our patron Her Royal Highness Princess Anne at our special event showcasing local East London funded projects.

TiffinWalli® CIC is a recipient of a Capital Grant from our Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund to support and train Asian women interested in developing skills and expertise in creative ideas to produce traditional and modern food for both future employment opportunities and/or establishing their own businesses.

“TiffinWalli was that will give me a great opportunity to do voluntary work with them. I was doing it online, but you know, for a few hours I was doing something for me and on that time I was doing the work with the ladies who are similar like to me, and I realised that that is a great opportunity for women like me who are facing these problems like depression.”

Find out more about Atoshi’s experience of learning about food preparation, hygiene and nutrition but also volunteering and eventually finding a job within the enterprise  and helping to build community with other women, who have had a chance to tap into their own artistry and even develop their own catering products.

Photo & video: Chris Baker

Part 1

Transcript: I am a Atoshi Shaha and I am from Tiffin Walli. I’m working with the finale from 2020 and sometimes online and sometimes offline as well.

I had postpartum depression after my baby. It was lockdown. So I thought that my life is end here. I am doing nothing. Just the baby and me doing every day same things.

So after. So it is a long period of time. I was alone with the baby, so I was depressed on that time, Tiffin Walli was that will give me a great opportunity to do voluntary work with them. I was doing it online, but you know, for a few hours I was doing something for me and on that time I was doing the work with the ladies who are similar like to me, and I realised that that is a great opportunity for women like me who are facing these problems like depression.

Everything is fine, but you are not. This is something else. I knew everything I did, the parental plus. I worked. I was with my sister when she had baby. I saw everything. I knew everything. But I can not get over of it. I was alone. I feel like I know my husband gives me support. But it wasn’t enough.

It is something else. So I know how it feels.

Part 2

Transcript: We are doing a special programme for the women. Women who are especially who are not able to go out for work, who have family issues like kids and everything. They are sometimes, you know, depressed. So we are doing little, little courses to encourage them. Like some cooking courses. Healthy. Healthy cooking, arts, stitching and food safety courses. And knowing them, some special courses even needed.

It was a healthy cooking session. I was there and some of them were like me. We did the cooking things and we also shared our experiences. So it was amazing.

Part 3

Transcript: So that I think Tiffin Walli gives me this platform that I can do something for myself. And when I was cooking, I cooked yoghurt, so I made it and everyone liked it. I told you I was doing it.

I didn’t know that. Like the other woman. What can I do? Or how it, you know, how people will like it, who they like it. Then Tiffin Walli tell me to do for more people. I did the event with you. I think you were here, Princess Anne, it was there. So it was 400 people and everyone liked it. I did a few more events with the Tiffin Walli and everyone liked it. I didn’t know that if I didn’t go to Tiffin Walli on that time, I didn’t make it. I was doing it at home. But, you know, I did didn’t have the idea that I can do it for more people. It can be a business and it can help me and other people as well. But now I know. So that’s what I feel, that if I, we, if we can make the ladies or whoever is working with the women’s, just give them a push and let them know what can they do so they can do it like me as well.

Part 4

Transcript: I think sometimes you need a platform to show your talent or sometimes you have to get involved with someone or an organisation like Tiffin Walli, who can give you the opportunity to do more things. And you know, if you need help, sometimes you need a little bit push to know what you can do.

You know, I’m telling you, we have a lady in our recent cooking programme, she is coming with her 10 weeks, baby. She’s was like, Oh, I cannot do anything, but I just want to be here with the other ladies and I just want to get out from home. She when she was telling me she wants to come and things like that, I was, I know what she is.

She’s trying to say, I had the same feeling. So she came with the baby. We gave her the support this time we booked the cooking classes with the children’s centres so they can leave their babies in the children’s centre and they can come and do whatever they can do. So yeah, it was, they are really appreciating and I told you when we are doing something they are giving their ideas as well.

It’s not like we are doing the same things, telling them the same things, we are telling them the same things. We have a nutritionist who is giving them the instructions. Then we are asking them, Now what? Now tell me, what did you learn and what can you do with it? So every week they are coming with their own recipes, with the with the additional healthy, you know, nutritional values, everything added. So now they are improvising this cooking and they self as well and they are enjoying it.

Part 5

Transcript: When they’re happy, their families happy and I told you when they are doing their business they can make the community happy. Know I’m doing their sixties plus old people cooking and I also deliver the food when I go there, when I when I am giving them the food and you know, they are happy place, they are having the food for two and £2.50. It’s nothing. So they are very happy. Some you know, when I’m go to the old age home, they are taking the food for three or four days. They have small freeze, they don’t have that much space. They can restore it because we are doing it for just Saturday once a week.

So when you see the happiness on your face, this was like my whole day made it. I was doing the job from maybe I started the cooking at 630 because I have to give them the food at before 1.30 for the lunch. So I was so tired. Maybe I couldn’t sleep last night because I was thinking, Oh, I have to wake up early and things. But when I see their happy face and it gives me the pleasure that yes, I can do something for the people. So we need more people to to help them as well.

So, yes, I’m doing it as a volunteer now, let’s see next what can we do where we have more plans? But, you know, the happy faces of the people gives me the most pleasure. 

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