Latest News

Women's Day 2021
Published on 30th March 2021

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on the 8th March. It is a day when people around the world come together to recognise the achievements that women and girls have made, as well as call for further action to close the gender gap in terms of education, health, economics and politics.

Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

IWD is celebrated globally in many ways and I would like to invite you on behalf of the Chair Mr Tony Sandiford of The Ethnic Minority Centre Merton to join in this celebration online via “zoom” on Saturday 20th March 2021 from 3.00pm to 5.00pm and say few words.

The Mayor of Merton Cllr Sally Kenny, few local Councilors, other dignitaries was invited to join celebration followed by guest speakers and entertainment.

Women's Day Poster

Everyone enjoyed the lovely music, the inspirational stories, poetry and the activities.

Inspirational speech from gusts speakers gave others confidence to speak.

On behalf of the Ethnic Minority Centre (EMC), I sincerely thank everyone for their presence and support on this occasion which made it even more attractive and successful for all those who attended. A

The programme was well attended and appreciated by all present.


Project Mental and Physical Fitness 2021

Published on 29th Jan 2021

EMC’s New Project Mental and Physical Fitness 2021 consist of reducing health inequalities talk and yoga, Zumba, art and dance for Developing Well-being.

This project started on Tuesday 15th January and will finish by 30th June 2021.

EMC were pleased to receive funding confirmation from Richard Horsnell, Grant Officer, from The London Community Foundation Wave-4 Navigating Crisis.

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, sessions are held online zoom every Tuesdays  and Saturdays from 12.00 to 2.00pm, for all ages, for BAME Communities. EMC proudly announce that EMC’s online services are so successful and going on well. Attendees numbers are growing bigger. About 40 to 45 people attend every session.

EMC Project Director Sabitri Ray always in contact with the funders and they have been very  supportive & helpful.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Richard for offering this grant to enable us to continue this very important project. Also EMC’s  IT support who made this online services possible.

Funded by : The London Community Foundation Wasve-4 navigating Crises.

EMC Logo London Community Foundation


COVID-19 Pandemic and EMC services

Published on 9th Dec 2020

In these unprecedented times, we would like to take this opportunity to reassure our members, friends, clients that we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that we can provide continuity of service to you during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is more important to us than ever at this challenging time that we continue working alongside you to improve lives, communities, and society.

We are still working to support you during COVID-19 but we have had to change the way our services and activities are delivered online (Zoom).

Our office is temporarily closed but you can contact a member of staff by email.

If you wish to contact me, please use  to let us know how you are coping and if you have any queries. It is also the quickest way to contact me as I am working from home.


Welcome to July-August 2020 Newsletter


Published on 13th Sept 2020

The EMC has been active in the London Borough of Merton since 1989 and its aims and objectives have always been “to bring the communities together, build community cohesion and improve the quality of lives of the BAME communities living and working within the London Borough of Merton”.

Message from Sabitri Ray Project Director

I am happy to let you know although lock down is easing the EMC staff/volunteers are very active,  we are still working from home and now able to start some online services, abiding by the new Covid virus health & safety measures.

We also work with MVSC, NHS, CCG, OneYou Merton, GP Surgery, Dementia Hub Merton, Age UK, Wimbledon Guild and try to support community organisations. We have recommended EMC’s 3 best volunteers to BAME Voice Chairperson Hannah Neal for interviewing community members for their Covid -19 project.

I have started a zoom service to update and continue all EMC’s projects. I do sincerely hope that you all will be able to join us in this valuable Zoom service.

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, we secured some funding for Swimming lessons at The Canons which was postponed. Now that the Canons swimming Pool is open with their restrictions for groups, means we cannot hold the swimming lessons for this year. I have discussed with our project funders (Get Set, Get Active) and with their full support, we will replace the swimming project with online “free” yoga sessions from Thursday 17th September at 11.30am to 12.30pm for 15 weeks. If you are interested, please register with me (email to avoid disappointment. Once registered I will send you a link.

Maths Good News

EMC’s Maths  projects were postponed in March many people were  disappointed , but I am pleased to announce  that we have developed a new  free  project called The  5 days Family Maths Challenge with our partners ~Roots to Grow~ funded by Clarion Futures Catch Up Fund. This course is a series of online, fun, mini-math challenges. In which all family members can take part.

We thankfully acknowledge Tutor Rita Ball for her hard work in setting up EMC’s Maths projects.

EMC’s online Creative maths for beginners and intermediates courses are now running very successfully on  every Wednesday from 4.15 pm to 5.15 pm and 5.30 pm to 6.30pm.

EMC’s 50 plus online maths course is due to start soon.  This project is funded by Clarion Future Community Fund. Please email me to register if you are interested.

EMC’s “Maths to help you live your life” for people with dementia, their families and carers is due to start soon funded by The London Community foundation.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our funders, tutors, volunteers, and IT engineer Ming Wong.

We have received second round funding from Merton Giving to purchase laptop, tablet, mobile broadband, etc and update EMC’s Tech equipment so that our clients, members and volunteers can use and learn


Once again if you would like to join any of these classes please email to register ASAP. If you wish to contact me please use  to register or just to let us know how you are coping in this present situation.


Lockdown experience from Raihana Ahmed – Her Days in Isolation

The coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 23rd. All the outreach activities of the Ethnic Minority Centre (EMC) – yoga, Maths, knitting, exercise, meditation, and sessions on health and wellbeing were postponed all of a sudden. Everything has changed since that day – lockdown, isolation, maintaining social distance, using hand sanitiser, face coverings, and restrictions on movement and mass gatherings have tremendously changed our everyday life. We had to learn, manage and adjust with these changes overnight, which was not easy; cutting yourself off from the outside world, even from family members!

We have learnt how to adapt with the circumstances in the greater interest of the people and the nation. We are learning how to accept, manage, cope with and control this unknown and strange enemy called coronavirus. We cannot see it, touch it, feel it but it is present around us, waiting like a hunting beast to attack us. The lockdown has taught us how to live a new way of life; living in confinement within four walls has given us time to reflect, time to self-assess and to realise how valuable this life is. At the same time, this pandemic put us in a position to challenge the present and accept the future. A human being is the highest creation of the Almighty Creator, and I believe together we will stand the test of time. To achieve this we have to be positive, help each other, learn from one another and have faith in the goodness of mankind.

Although I am missing the physical presence of and contact with my family members, especially my grandchildren, I decided to enjoy myself and make the best use of my time. Seeing them on Zoom is okay, but cannot replace their physical presence, their laughter, warmth and hugs. In spite of this, it seems to me as if after so many years I have finally got some time for myself; I often reminisce about the past and cherish the best things that happened in my life, for which I am grateful to the Almighty Creator. I have a set routine for every day – for prayer, exercising, gardening, cleaning, reading, and watching TV (both for entertainment and to be up to date with the latest information). Whenever I am stuck with any problem while using my computer or smartphone, I call my children or grandchildren to help me out or to learn a different way of doing things, especially while working online. There is no age for learning – interacting with young people who have clarity of mind is keeping me active, alert and connected with the present.

There is a saying: ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. We can see the positive impact of coronavirus: due to lockdown there are fewer cars and buses on the streets, and people are no longer flying as much, which has led to a decrease in air pollution and has reduced our carbon footprint. People have learnt to be economical in spending, are thinking about others who are suffering, and have realised the importance of maintaining a balance in life between work and play (while also having time to relax, rest and exercise). We have learnt to be content with small things, have realised the benefits of meditation and of caring for nature, and have become grateful for this life.

The staff at the NHS (National Health Service established in 1948), irrespective of grade or position, have been working relentlessly since March to serve their patients. Florence Nightingale’s (May 12, 1820 – Aug. 13, 1910) vision: everyone who is in need should be given equal medical care and treatment. A reminder for all in every walk of life. Captain Tom Moore has inspired the nation by raising over £30 million at the age of his 100th birthday.

We at the EMC preach and practice treating people equally, giving importance and respect to everyone, and becoming rich and resourceful in learning from one another. I am praying for the best outcome from this pandemic. My heartfelt condolences and prayers for those who lost their lives and suffered due to coronavirus – may God rest their souls in peace.

I wish to conclude with the words of Florence Nightingale (‘the Lady with the Lamp’) – “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it.”

Raihana Ahmad

Important Message from our chair Mr A. Sandiford

Let me continue in wishing you and your family good health and safety during these prolonged periods of uncertainty. To those who have lost love ones, my deepest and sincerest condolences go out to you. May their souls continue to rest in peace and their memories linger on.

I encourage you to examine life in a more optimistic manner and be our brother’s keeper, looking out for one another.

We hope that in time the EMC will be back to the New normal from which the ethnic minorities of Merton can benefit. Be alert, keep safe and adhere to the protocols put in place. Keep your distance and wear your mask where necessary.

God bless.
Tony Sandiford – Chair
The Ethnic Minority Centre


Culture Seeds Runner Up Award 2019 Presented by Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Published on 14th June 2019EMC at City Hall
EMC at City Hall


Sabitri & Pat with Sadiq Khan
Sabitri & Pat with Sadiq Khan

Certificate of Outstanding Volunteering Contribution  To Susan Ball Merton Partnership

Published on 14th June 2019Sue Ball
Susan Ball

This certificate is awarded with sincere gratitude for her outstanding contribution as long term volunteer and commitment and dedication to the Ethnic Minority Centre by the Merton Partnership.

Certificate of Outstanding Volunteering Contribution  To Vijayaluxumy Nadajan Merton Partnership

Published on 14th June 2019Vijayaluxumy Nadajan
Vijayaluxumy Nadajan

This certificate is awarded with sincere gratitude for her outstanding contribution as long term volunteer and commitment and dedication to the Ethnic Minority Centre by the Merton Partnership.

EMC Supported Volunteer to Find Employment

Published on 29th March 2019Meena

Meena our volunteer has now found full time employment. She has been a volunteer with us over 10 years. All that time she looked after her sick husband. Sadly he died last year and it was necessary for her to find employment which is not easy these days.  She had been attending our Maths lessons for age 50+ and had gained the confidence she needed to apply for a job in a chemists in Colliers Wood. We miss her a lot but we are so proud of her achievement.

Please visit link to an article published in the Wimbledon Guardian news


Recognition for Support in Promoting Healthier Life Style

Published on 20th Februrary 2019Recognition in Promoting Healthier Life Styles

Received the certificate in Recognition for Support in Promoting Healthier Life Styles across Merton as a Community Health Champion. Presented by Cllr Mary Curtain Mayor of Merton

BEST Award Ceremony

Published on October 2018
BEST Award Ceremony

The EMC was proud to receive and award from BEST(Business & education Succeeding together) at a ceremony in Oct 2018.

The event was to celebrate how School students and employers from around the borough have been marking 25 years of successful work experience placements in Wandsworth – which has seen around 25,000 young people getting their first taste of the world of work.

This year’s event was hosted by Ernest Bevin College and was attended by students from Ernest Bevin College, Graveney Academy, Burntwood Academy, Chestnut Grove Academy, and Nightingale Community Academy.The EMC and a large number of employers who have provided work experience were  the ceremony.

BEST (Business and Education Succeeding Together) is the council’s education and business partnership and works with about 700 employers to give Wandsworth’s young people access to around a thousand work experience placements a year. The awards celebrate the most motivated students and committed employers.

Sabitri Ray Project Director & Meena Siddiqui Volunteer represented the EMC at the ceremony.