(from left to right): Bhimji Patel (Temple management committee), Harji Patel (Temple management committee), Sanjay Kerai (Temple Trustee), Anil Kara (Temple Trustee), Priya Chopra (Saheli CEO), Satpal Birdi, Pratibha Bharati, Mahado Mahad, Surjit Manrai

The Shree Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Oldham has announced a groundbreaking partnership with a leading women’s charity supporting people from black and minority ethnic communities affected by domestic abuse.

The temple’s new partnership with Saheli underscores a commitment to helping BAME women build new lives for themselves within the broader context of promoting inclusivity, empowerment, and communal well-being.

In just a few weeks, the iconic temple has collected over 176kg in clothes donations, toys, household items and electrical appliances for their chosen charity.

Among the many services it provides, Manchester based Saheli, which was formed in 1976, offers support and refuge to BAME women and their children impacted by domestic abuse.


Priya Chopra, from Saheli, said: “The temple has been absolutely fantastic. In the short period since our collaboration, they have done so much to help support the women we work with.

“Only recently we had a mother struggling to feed herself and her young baby. Within 30 minutes the temple had arranged for warm food and supplies to be delivered to her house.

“The ladies who delivered the food saw how young the child was and went to purchase baby formula to keep them both going.

“Their support emboldens our mission to empower survivors and combat gender-based violence.

“Together, with the temple’s commitment, we can amplify our impact, reaching more individuals in need and foster a community of solidarity and support.

“We look forward to this partnership, working hand in hand to create a world where everyone feels safe, respected, and empowered. We thank them for joining us in this vital cause.”

The temple will be holding charity events in next year to raise funds and bring more attention to the work that Saheli does around Manchester.

Temple volunteer, Geeta Patel, said she has been pleasantly amazed by the number of people willing to help the cause.

She said: “It’s wonderful. We had invited people from Saheli Group to the temple thaali evening which we hold most months free of charge, but the ladies from the charity didn’t have any transport.

“So, some women from the temple picked up the ladies and dropped them off.”

The temple, which was built solely by volunteers, has been holding various initiatives to bring people from Oldham and the surrounding areas to support the charity and women they help.

The Shree Swaminarayan Mandir has a well-established tradition of engaging in charitable endeavours and in the past year, actively organised a series of fundraising initiatives for its previous chosen charity, Maggies.

These included hosting festive Christmas soirees that garnered an impressive £1,500 in donations, while members of the temple’s running club raised a substantial £3,000 during the Great Manchester Run.

Temple trustee, Anil Kara, spoke of the new partnership and what it means for the community, said: “We really wanted to partner with a charity which we could get behind and raise more awareness around some of the issues that BAME women are going through.

“The temple was built by volunteers, and we have so many people who are ready to help in whatever way they are needed.

“We are ready to support and help get these strong women on their feet again and support the valuable work the charity does.”