The Hodan Somali Community is a community organisation that came together as an organisation following a period of sustained demand from the local Somali community in West London. Following the closure of the Somali Welfare Association in 2004 many Somalis who were receiving support from this organisation were in difficulties in accessing the services available locally and with the help of the local authority and other local organisations, the community leaders actively worked to form Hodan. Hodan began to set up in mid 2005 and with a small grant from the local Authority launched in February 2006 and started to provide a basic support service with volunteers.
Hodan has, since then, grown and developed to meet the needs of the local communities and have a number of paid staff and a solid volunteer base. The number of people who accessed our services increased considerably since the launch of the organisation. Our services are heavily used and mainly benefit women who have difficulties with engaging with mainstream services due to language and cultural problems.
The organisation targets the most vulnerable groups in the community particularly the elderly, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems, single mothers and their children. Our services are heavily used and attract twenty-five to thirty service users each week and this demand is consistent.
Service users tell us that our services are essential for integration and accessing local services and constantly ask for a continued and expanded service. They see the services of the organisation as an important bridge towards better access, gradual integration, understanding UK system, becoming more independent, feeling better about one self and improving family relationships.