Our History 

Our story and why we are here....

Ashiana was created by a passionate group of residents to make Sparkbrook a better place to live; to this day, Sparkbrook remains a close knit community.

How it began - grass root beginnings

In 1980, and originally based in Sheffield, Ashram (now known as Ashiana) was first formed by Christian missionaries and had relocated to Sparkbrook. The charity spread Christianity to the local community, which was home to a predominantly Muslim population from South Asia.

There was a lot of funding available from the Christian missionaries but with little direction on how the money could be best utilised for local residents. Given the level of deprivation in the area, a suggestion to establish a local community organisation to help upskill and educate local people, came from Mohammed Saleem Qureshi (a.k.a. Slim), himself a local resident

This led to an active community organisation, which provided activities to reduce isolation for new migrants - including women-only activities.

Mr Qureshi formed partnerships the council, urban renewal and other organisations at the time to keep properties within the possession of the local community. It was through this network that Mr Qureshi helped the organisation secure a City Nursery for £15,000 on Grantham Road which is now known as Ashiana Community Project. Due to the overwhelming support and local connections provided by Mr Qureshi, he was appointed Trustee of the Board; the first Pakistani Muslim to be leading a Christian Missionary organisation. With strong foundations first established through a successful Christian-Muslim alliance, Ashiana has built a strong local presence embracing all cultures, faiths and backgrounds for more than four decades.

The building was handed over to the local community in 1992 and  later became Ashiana Community Project (aka ACP). Ashiana’s meaning derives from the Urdu word ‘nest’ which is symbolic in providing a source of security and personal growth for those in need. Today we still put the community at the heart of everything we do, and we continue to provide a user lead approach. All our existing Trustees are local residents that have massively contributed their local community and provide a huge diversity of skills to ensure ACP Group continues to serve it's people and reduce inequalities.

Grassroots thinking, for us it’s always been a bottom up approach - Over the years our services have been designed to reduce these inequalities and make a positive change for the community in Sparkbrook. We believe in resilience and working closely with our community, and setting a vision of achieving their fullest potential in bringing change.

Today ACP is recognised as The Family Centre, with over 20 dedicated staff providing a wealth of services, with over hundreds of people coming to see us to seek support for advice and guidance, wellbeing activities, and employment support. We are matrix and IIP accredited to ensure a high level of excellence in our delivery

 Find out more about our services

 Find out who our Partners and whether you want to be a part of Our Family at ACP Group!