Nazia is a Doncaster based activist. She runs a local youth group and volunteers for many charities, which has included The Real Junk Food Project. She is a trustee for DRASACS – Doncaster’s Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Service.
She is an energetic campaigner – she even took a trip to Yarl’s Wood detention centre last year.
The world needs more people like Nazia; they get shit done.
Tell us about one activist highlight from 2015.
The things I do are so different to one another, so it’s hard to pick one. The demonstration at Yarl’s Wood detention centre was definitely one of them! It was different to things I’ve taken part in before, actually being outside the detention centre to show your solidarity with the people inside! Knowing that they could see you, and when they tried reaching out to us with messages written on paper and clothing, and shouting to us, saying “Help” or “We are not animals” – it was heartbreaking. Individuals have been detained there for anything from weeks to months to years. We plan to show our support again in March.
What do you enjoy most about living/working in Doncaster?
I always feel like Doncaster has a nice balance between Town & City. I lived in city for a while whilst studying, and even though I enjoyed my time out there, I couldn’t see myself living there permanently. Doncaster has many things you can get involved in, yet there is still the feeling of a community. Secondly, the people I’ve met – particularly the youth. They are so inspiring, and give me hope – the time and effort they put into helping others.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become more socially aware and active?
Find out what is going on in your area (social media is great for this), and go along – people are always so friendly. There are so many wonderful things happening in Doncaster, lots of people trying to make a difference! I can never get to all the things I want to, but it’s great that there is so much activity taking place!
What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
I’m not the best at discipline – but I find the more I do, the more organised I am! It definitely helps if you feel passionate about certain things & enjoy doing it. I’m often involved in so much because I love doing what I do, and I love variety. You have to be careful not to take on too much, and say no sometimes. This is something i’ve had to learn to do, and prioritise a few areas I want to focus on.