The service officially launched last January amid high expectations. But the long hard work ahead had been outlined from the start, with the AHNS team emphasising it would take a time to build the database with applicants in order match suitable candidates.
Since then around 80 applicants have joined the service from both the local community and other parts of the UK.
A key aspect of AHNS is the extent of preserving the applicants anonymity. Even the postal applications were given a PO Box to ensure applicants had full confidence in the service.
One successful applicant told Paigaam at first he was against the idea of using the service thinking it was similar to existing matchmaking web services. However, after some consideration and reading through the application form, it said ‘under the guidance of Mufti Saab’ which is what gave him the confidence to join.
AHNS told us they welcomed more applicants especially from young graduate or professional men as there is a high number of similar women registered A n o t h e r area AHNS mentioned is for applicants to be more flexible in prospective partners whom they would like to meet. Though of course the final decision would remain firmly in the grasp of the applicant, a willingness to widen the range of prospective partners may open new possibilities.
The team themselves have had challenges to face and even with the extensive research conducted before setting up the service, not every scenario could be foreseen. Feedback indicates communication as a key issue and this is something the AHNS team is looking to improve.
Registration for the service has a one-off fee of £50 and details of how to register can be found online at www.imws.org.uk