We had to go through 2018’s review to try and come with a baseline for 2019, because it feels we had written the review so long ago, but also it feels like December 2018 was just yesterday, can you relate?

People often say that the year goes so quickly, and they don’t know where time has gone, however, this year has truly been out of this world and we know exactly where our time has been utilised. Although it feels like the time has flown by, accountability has been an underlying “take-home” message for the team. Accountable for the time we put in, the work we create, the interactions we have, and accountability for the way we represent Inspirited Minds. This year has truly been a year of productivity, realising our strengths and areas of improvement, as well as realising our potential and trying to materialise that potential in everything that we do. Despite experiencing some unfortunate losses, we have made winning gains to the team and we have made additional effort to appreciate our volunteers and all the hard work they do as the backbone of this charity. We never feel like we can appreciate them enough, so may Allah reward each and every one of our members in abundance, Ameen!

We have put all of our will and energy into materialising our vision, and although we still have a long journey ahead of us. It is an honour to look back on how far we have come from our starting point, and of course, it has been an honour to be travelling with YOU, thank you for being our supportive companions, whom we would not be here without and who we live to serve for the sake of Allah.

As Inspirited Minds is rapidly growing, and it has grown remarkably this year, we would be here all-day listing all of our achievements, so we have decided to highlight our key triumphs, although no achievement is too small. Don’t forget, if you want to see what we’ve done in more depth, you can check out our monthly reflections.

The Writers team reached new heights this year with fresher ideas (with more to come for 2020!) and new team members. The writers covered a range of interesting, unique and totally relatable content from sleep, to social anxiety, body image to disabilities, mindful salah to escapism and so much more! We’ve started to include more digestible, shorter pieces into the newsletter and blog, meaning that you can have all the information you need in bitesize amounts. You can find all of our month’s themes here. We’ve also started doing audio versions of our weekly newsletters, which means you can listen in too! We’ve got loads of ideas for next year including the Prophetic Lifestyle, Stress & Beauty, masculinity and more! If you have any ideas you would like the writers to cover, feel free to email our Publishing Lead: hamida.moulvi@inspiritedminds.org.uk

“Alhamdulillah I came upon your article. I have always thought differently about how we Muslims should overlook the mental health problems the world is facing today, especially Muslim teenagers. It is still a very rare topic (mental health) here in Indonesia. I wish to inspire as many people just as you have inspired my mind” – Subscriber

“I wanted to say thank you for focusing on this. I am an educator of 20 years. I deal with the children of parents daily and have five of my own. There is so little info properely shared with our community and your resources are indispensable. May Allah reward you and keep up the good work!” – Subscriber

The Outreach team has grown tremendously, where we are now in a position to say we are finally going national after many requests! We have teams forming in different regions of the UK and it truly is an exciting time for the team and all the groundwork they do for the charity, they really are crucial to who we are and what we do. Workshops and events have hit a new record number this year, and In Shaa Allah the people who have benefitted is even bigger! Our Outreach Manager, Farhana, was invited to the Netherlands to do a talk about self-reflection, mental health and an individual’s relationship with Allah, and it was a great success.  Furthermore, the outreach team have gone into more mosques, community centres, and public spaces than ever and have attended and represented Inspirited Minds at many conferences and panels in order to raise awareness and fulfil our goals. You can read the reviews of all the events they have accomplished here, and if you would like to work with Inspirited Minds in 2020 or want to request a speaker, get in contact!

The Support team has established better grounds with new and more experienced team members, improved and more effective training for the team, and more fluid communications to ensure a better experience for our clients and those who seek support from us. The team has immense plans for 2020 and they are working super hard behind the scenes to provide for the ummah, all will be released in due course! The team released the “Ask IM” service in August, 2019 which has been in the pipeline for a while and Alhamdulillah it has been received well. You can read about the service here and read some of the responses we have had so far, you may be able to relate! Please do feel free to ask a question, remember we are here for you.

As part of the Communications Team, we have created a sub team specifically for Projects, and with that, The Mindful Muslim Podcast was revived! This time with video and a new host, and it is available on iTunes, Apple Podcast, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and more – so be sure to subscribe! Our first guest was Adam Afghan, and he spoke about his OCD and suicidal thoughts which resonated with many, followed by Sheikh Saeed and spoke about overcoming challenges. You can find them here, it’s definitely worth the watch/listen. We are also on Patreon, so do consider sparing a few pennies in order to consistently create more podcasts! We have 3 more amazing podcasts to be released and have many more scheduled for 2020, so keep an eye out for exclusive content. If you have any podcast suggestions, feel free to email sarah.gulamhusein@inspiritedminds.org.uk and stay updated on our social media for announcements. Additionally, our marketing and social media has reached new peaks with a rebrand on the conveyer and many more engaging ideas for our followers to make information around mental health more accessible.

Every year we participate in #TimeToTalk to contribute to the conversation around mental health and this year we decided to focus on self-care. We asked people to tell us how they look after themselves with the hashtag #LookAfterYourself and we had over 100’s of submissions! It really was a great initiative and we had so many different types of people, from all over the country participate, it was a beautiful collective conversation. We post one every week on social media on Thursday so everyone can benefit and get ideas for self-care as well as provide a message of hope, but you can read them here. We are also still taking submissions, so please do tell us how you #LookAfterYourself! For February 2020, we have something bigger planned for #TimeToTalk so keep your eyes peeled on our social media for the announcements and conversation starters!

In April, we saw the UK Launch for the International Association of Islamic Psychology (IAIP) where many giants of our time from all over the UK came together and shared the platform. It was a jam-packed day full of Islamic and Psychological content, how the 2 come together, the struggles in our community, how to move forward, and how a combined approach is the solution for the future. Many described the day to be unique and deeply insightful, and a fantastic opportunity for personal and professional development. Our CEO, Talat Baig also ended the day with a heart-warming message about the purpose of Inspirited Minds, the future of this charity and our intention to be beacons of light for those who are in darkness.

In true Inspirited Minds Ramadan fashion, we absolutely smashed our targets this year!

Ramadan 2019 was the third year of Ramadan fundraising for us, and by the grace of Allah, we managed to raise just over £5000! Which is £2000 more than last year, mashAllah! This year we had more volunteers, and with the sincerest of intentions brought more barakah. You can read all about the challenges we participated in and our reflections. If you were one of the generous donors, may Allah reward you in abundance. It is through your donations that we are able to continue doing what we do. Don’t forget, we have a 100% donation policy and are fully led by volunteers, so if you would like to contribute and join our mission, consider donating here, no amount is too small! If you would like to fundraise for us, or have any ideas that you would like to propose or just want to have a discussion about what we could do together, feel free to email info@inspiritedminds.org.uk

October brought creativity to the MAX! It was our second Creative Minds event, and we didn’t believe that we could exceed the success of the previous event, but this year was bigger and better! We were so incredibly thankful to our supportive contributors such as Heretic, IsArts, and Sheikh Abu Ibrahim, as well as new and amazing contributors such as Khaleel Kassim, Fathima Hameed, Khalida Haque, and Emanza Art, proudly sponsored by

Al-Khair Foundation. We were sold out days before the event, and we received amazing feedback. This event is where the whole organisation get together and put in all their efforts to make it what it is, but it is truly the efforts of the Outreach Department that makes it so successful. We have learnt a lot this year and will be implementing the lessons and successes to make the next one(s) even more creative and ensure they provide an even better space for expression and reflection.

November and December is usually the time we take to reflect on our journey, refuel our energy and reassess our plans. The identity of Inspirited Minds strengthens every year, and it is boosted with every bright-eyed idea that is birthed in our team meetings, as well as every nervous lip biting event we attend. The DNA of Inspirited Minds runs through our volunteers, and their passions, and dedication are what keep us going. It is you, our readers, viewers, donors, supporters, dua makers, event attendees, social media sharers, taggers, and commenters that materialise our vision and keep the torch alight for us, especially when we are struggling to stay afloat. However, it is ultimately the Prophet (pbuh) who gave us the blueprint to do what we do, and it is Allah who continuously provides for us and has written our successes long before we achieve them. Here’s to another year of raising awareness, defeating stigma, educating, providing support, content creating, resource making, and more.

Bismillah.

Meanha Begum

Meanha Begum

Meanha Begum is currently studying a degree in Islamic Psychology where she has been given the blessing to explore her passions, Islam and Psychology. She relishes in the insight of an Islamic perspective to incorporate into psychology, to help those who have never been given a chance that every devout muslim, and non muslim deserves. Which is why she considers Inspirited Minds to be a huge blessing in her life. She has been brought up in a heavy western environment, where Islam was once far from her reach, but through trials and tribulations, she has managed to come out stronger and closer to Allah than ever before. It's simply her experiences, ideas, and open nature that pushes her towards wanting to help others out of their vulnerable places, through their journey, and into happiness, with tranquil souls.

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