THERE was a new group at the Rose Hill Summer Extravaganza on Saturday raising money for charity, the ASH Mehndi Artists.

The group, set up last month, raised cash by creating mehndi – or henna – designs on people’s hands.

It is composed of three 20-year-old girls from the Rose Hill area; Ayesha Sadiqi, Saba Wahid and Habiba Khan, who named the ASH group using their initials.

Miss Wahid said: “We like to take part in charity events and raise money. We did a lot of stuff when we were at Didcot Girls’ School.


The henna designs

“Recently we have been working with the Rose Hill community because it is our neighbourhood.

“We’ve helped them a lot on local events and we’ve been volunteering. We like to be involved.”

The City of Oxford College science student explained: “Mehndi comes from a plant and is made into a paste.

“It’s like an organic tattoo, there’s nothing chemical, it’s all-natural and it lasts for about a week.

“We do have other ones that have colours and glitter which are more colourful, but they don’t last. They’re just temporary until you wash your hands. You do it for special occasions and celebrations. Women wear it on their hands and feet.”

Miss Wahid, whose family moved to Rose Hill from Afghanistan seven years ago, said: “Rose Hill is very culturally diverse, and it’s bringing communities together if you do those kind of stalls.

“People get to know about your different culture and you can learn about them too. We try to bring other cultures together.”

Miss Khan is the most experienced of the three at doing mehndi designs. She said: “The money we raise will be donated to a charity, we don’t want to keep the money.’’ Small designs from ASH Mehndi Artists will cost £3 and larger ones will go for £5.

After their first few events the girls will decide which charity they want to support through the year and make their first donation.

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