We talked to Zee Jogi, Instructor at Z’s Defence Academy, about teaching women the importance of safety through self-defence training, and she had the following to say:-
How are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Zee Jogi: We have really struggled during this pandemic as we could not offer our face-to-face services. As a community project, we were very much involved in the public, and we were very frustrated we couldn’t support our local area. We kept in contact with the clients; however very frustrated as we couldn’t support face-to-face.
About you, your career, how you founded Z’s Defence Academy.
Zee Jogi: The organization is called Z’s Defence Academy and was founded with a group of friends who all enjoyed volunteering in their spare time. The knowledge/experience gave us the confidence to set up a project to teach women the importance of safety through self-defence training. As the instructor, I achieved my qualification as a self-defence instructor and went on to further develop my expertise in Krav Maga. This is military-style training and teaches you how to defend yourself from one or a group of attackers. Our aim is to upskill women, give them the confidence to defend themselves and gain confidence.
How does Z’s Defence Academy innovate?
Zee Jogi: During this pandemic, we conducted many zoom session’s online with the team to discuss innovative ways of working. We had to move with the times and adapt our services to our client’s needs. We decided to offer online sessions, which has been a great success. This opportunity has allowed us to target women from different locations all around the world. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our services and help the community become a safer place.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your project finances?
Zee Jogi: Unfortunately, we received no support during the pandemic and offered our time to serve the public on a voluntary basis. The needs within the community had changed, and physical sporting activities were told to Stop. As we are an organisation that support vulnerable women, we opened our service via email/telephone and worked on a voluntary basis. We strongly believe in giving back to the community and will continue serving.
How did your customer relationship management evolve?
Zee Jogi: We were successful as we spoke to women from a different location outside the borough and around the world. Covid-19 has allowed us to think outside the box and change the way we provide our services. We have a new bank of clients who we could not have reached if Covid-19 didn’t happen.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Zee Jogi: We use Zoom online services to support our online sessions. This is a fantastic platform to allow different cultures/races to come together and learn from each other’s experience. We aim to offer face-to-face sessions once lockdown measure eases and will continue to serve our community through our online service.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Zee Jogi: We were in a very unfortunate position in 2020 as we were rejected for the grants we applied for to support this project. This was very disheartening; however, we understood the needs to support the ill health and needy was more vital. This is the reason why we continued to offer our services on a voluntary basis. We are aiming to apply for grants in 2021 to support this community project and help women learn a lifetime skill.
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