History and Development
Israac Somali Community Association was established in 1981 by a group of Somali seamen, at that time working in the steel industry, and their families. The aim was to assist the Somali community in gaining access to a wide range of services in local society.
Since then we have widened our work and services to support and welcome all local communities in a deprived part of Sheffield and become a registered charity. We are based in the Sharrow area of Sheffield on the border of Broomhall.
Aims and Activities
Israac’s work enables people and communities to make social connections, develop social cohesion, find educational opportunities, promote their own wellbeing, gain support for housing and legal issues, develop social enterprises and empower themselves. As part of our aspiration to provide enabling opportunities to the community, we are also an enterprise hub. We host a high quality catering service as well as the Diaspora Multimedia Hub and offer a venue where local businesses and entrepreneurs can be based and develop.
Since 1987 we have had a spacious venue in an advantageous location – Vestry Hall on Cemetery Road near the bustling London Road full of local businesses and restaurants as well as being near residential areas. This has enriched relationships and connections in the community and city.
In 2017, 60 Somali families joined together to buy the freehold of our Vestry Hall venue. from Sheffield City Council. We worked with Glasshouse, Sheffield University Live Projects and an architect and structural engineer to produce an Architectural and Business Plan to develop our venue as a social enterprise centre. As requested by Christopher Graves, this is attached together with a recent review.
Diaspora Multimedia Hub (DMH)
A really exciting development has been a recent partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and Eyral TV in creating our Diaspora Multimedia Hub which has hosted and led film training courses for young people and produced high quality videos promoting health and wellbeing.
Governance, Membership and Team
ISRAAC is a Registered Charity and Charitable Incorporated Organisation overseen by 8 Trustees, the majority of whom are from the Sheffield Somali Community. We have a paying membership of 55-60 from within the Somali community.
Our team of volunteers and paid workers have excellent roots and links in the Somali and wider communities and offer strong community language skills. Through conversations and their work, they engage with local people’s priorities and aspirations. 2 of our 8 trustees are women, and beyond them, we have a mixed staff and volunteer group of 6 women and 2 men.
We are very grateful to a large number of Funders and Partners who support our work and without whom we couldn’t offer the wide-ranging support we do to our local and Sheffield-wide participants.