My name is Deepika Makwana, but most people call me Dee. I am a single parent with two children both under the age of 18 years old.
From life experiences and bringing up young people in this society, I know it can be very challenging for most single parents. I totally understand how you all are feeling. As a single mum that works with young people that are affiliated with gangs or some kind of drug activity, it can be disheartening to see that you are unable to help your children.
But there is a way forward. I know this from my own experiences in bringing up a teenager who was deep in gang affiliation. It was very difficult, but I managed to pull my child through the peer pressure and away from the wrong crowds. This was an incredibly difficult time and I did everything in my power as mother to help and support my teenager.
It was this experience which made me realise that more families in Wandsworth needed support, advice, guidance, and a caring community who could help them through these difficult times. So in keeping Families Together I set up two projects: Keeping Families Together support project and Keeping Young People in Schools projects. Most of the referrals can be done by the parents, but we also take referrals from Children Social Services and Family Support Workers.
The overall aim of my charity is to create a community and a safe environment, in order to help young people detach themselves from gang culture, help keep them in education, and to make every effort to ensure children stay with their families when they are on Children’s Social Services.
I believe all young people need chances and their parents need support to help them move forward in a positive way. It takes a community to raise a child and I believe we are helping to really build this community in many different ways.
Senia is a Business Economist with a BA Degree with Hons. in Marketing, International Trading and Political Economy and has a Posts Graduate Certificate in Social Science.
She has initiated the setting up of Falcon Estate RA in 2006. She is a Christ Church School Governor since 2005 and has set up the school’s PTA and helped start the Secret Garden project through networking with the school, RHS and her RA.
Senia is the founder and Chair of the Women of Wandsworth and the founder and CEO of URBIS Business Consultancy.
Senia has always been involved in supporting children with disabilities and SEN. She was Chair of Wandsworth Contact a Family Steering Committee since 2007- 2017.
In 2009 She was one of the initiators who have founded a forum for families with disabled children and became Vice Chair of Positive Parent Action group, giving parents of disabled children a voice and confident advocacy for their children’s rights. Senia is a member of Great Ormond Street Trust.
Senia was a Katherine Low Settlement Trustee and a President of Battersea Rotary Club, as well as the Rotary International Assistant Governor for London. Senia worked as a London Ambassador during London Olympic games 2012 and is now an UN and Commonwealth Peace Envoy for NGO.