Another year has flown by, SubhanAllah!
Reflecting on 2023 is by no means easy, considering what has happened and is still happening this year. Our hearts and Du’as go out to all those suffering in Palestine, Sudan, Afghanistan and all over the world.
With the global atmosphere being harsh and horrific, it can be easy to undermine our small gains. At Inspirited Minds, with your support and the support of Allah, we have managed to help so many people with emphasis on our consistency to strive for our mission. Here is a summary of all that we achieved this year!
Alhamdulillah, 2023 was our most successful year in terms of consistency with our Masterclasses, and responding to speaker requests and we also reached tremendous heights with our community engagement this year, mashAllah! This year we:
- Conducted 8 out of 11 successful planned masterclasses (1 was cancelled due to team sickness and 2 were cancelled due to the ongoing issues in Palestine and will be rearranged in 2024, In Shaa Allah) with approximately 120 attendees in total:
- Our facilitators were almost always rated as very good or excellent
- All attendees were either likely or very likely to recommend our workshop to others
- All attendees felt they are either likely or very likely to use the skills and knowledge learnt in the session
- Received 26 external requests this year, 2 of which were requests to co-design research and sit on advisory boards in the community. 18 out of 26 were accepted and successfully fulfilled, 2 of which are planned for early 2024, In Shaa Allah. We were unable to fulfil 1 request due to team unavailability and the remaining 7 were either cancelled by organisers or the organisers, unfortunately disengaged. We approximate total number of attendees of all of the external requests to be close to 1000 mashAllah!
- Made contact with almost 100 Masaajid in London and Birmingham which has lead to multiple successful and upcoming collaborations
- Distributed our resources to 18 different community settings, including our leaflets, information about our counselling services, and our toolkits which have been received by approximately 1200 beneficiaries, Alhamdulillah
What people said:
- “Thank you for creating this, may Allah reward you all for making me aware of these topics that I had no knowledge before, Ameen 🙂”
- “I loved that it was very interactive. A nice mixture of learnings, videos, case studies, polls and quizzes – very impressive.”
- “Very clear outline and great insight into Islamic perspective on the 12 steps”
- “I loved the fact that there was leaflets highlighting key issues. Structure was very good. Picked out ayahs of quran and gave their significance and related it back to the topic. Very warm and friendly workshop lead, so the meaning and message was put in a clear and easy to understand manner.”
- “On behalf of myself and my participants, I wanted to express our sincerest gratitude for your participation as a guest speaker at my workshop yesterday. Your contribution was invaluable, and I received positive feedback from my participants. Your experience in working therapeutically and integrating religion in therapy with Muslim clients was inspiring, your presentation was informative, and your insights generated interesting discussion amongst my participants. Again, we are deeply grateful for your time and for sharing your expertise with us. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you again in the future inshaAllah.”
2023 saw the start of our most demanded service yet, our unique support groups that offer Islamic mental health support, perspectives and insight. With special thanks to Islamic Relief UK for providing us with funding to get the project off the ground, we have seen a huge success and a big appetite from the Muslim community for more. This year we:
- Developed 3 support groups, Depression, ROCD and Generalised Anxiety
- Delivered 3 online support groups and 1 in-person, with our ROCD support group being the most popular one yet!
- Completed the A-Z guide which will be published on our website in 2024
- Successfully filtered through all the current questions in the AskIM database, and whilst we will no longer be operating the service in 2024, we will be answering questions that are frequently asked in video format for better accessibility, In Shaa Allah
- We have managed to support 35 people via our support groups this year mashAllah, and this is what they have said:
- “(the support group) helped me to feel that I’m not the only one. The Islamic references were very helpful to make sense of things.”
- “Companionship supportive and the principles I really liked the reflection over the last week that really helped me”
- “The support group definitely made me feel less alone in terms of my struggles, but in addition to that it’s also provided me with practical limits to help me manage my compulsions and obsessive thoughts”
- “Safiyah and Khulood were fantastic! Masha Allah. It was a safe space to talk about our own experiences. I felt as if I’m not alone. It’s given me hope that I will be able to overcome my ocd with the help of Allah.”
- “I honestly don’t think there are any improvements, as it’s helped me so much and has provided me with a supportive community”
- We successfully released 8 episodes of The Mindful Muslim Podcast and obtained 10,000+ views across all our platforms. This year we spoke to many inspiring guests across the board, including:
- Adam Afghan and Humzah Hussain who explored accepting the Qadr of Allah
- Mostafa Karim who spoke about grief and marriage
- Zainab Ahmed who shared her lived experiences of OCD
- Dr Omar Reda who provided insight into trauma and caregiving in Islam
- Dr Tarek Younis who shared his views on the politics of Muslim mental health in his new book
- Dr Hooman Keshavarzi who delved into Religious OCD from an expert point of view and debunked some crazy myths
- Jamilla Hekmoun who discussed men’s mental health and the cost of living crisis
- Osman Mohammed who shared his experience of Religious OCD and how he went from bedridden to brave!
- We created and released a bunch of resources on our theme of the year: Religious OCD
- A 2 part factsheet on Religious OCD, including what it is, how to cope with it and what Islam says about it
- A Khutbah on Religious OCD for Imams and Community leaders to use
- A series of infographics on Religious OCD for social media
- A Muslim’s toolkit on Religious OCD, in collaboration with Khalil Center (this is still being designed and will be published soon)
- We reached more than 43,000 people across all our social platforms!
- We shared more than 15 research studies in the Muslim community – contact us now to feature your study
- We collaborated with 3 Muslim artists on limited edition prints with proceeds going towards Muslim mental health! Check them out here.
- We launched a free mental health themed book club with our first session taking place in December 2023, gathering over 20 participants!
- We published an article in the September issue of CBT Today, titled: Religious Scrupulosity – Is it a mark of religiosity or disordered thinking?
- Successfully completed a qualitative research study exploring the lived experiences of Muslims with Religious OCD
- Set provisions in place to conduct internal research to ensure efficacy and efficiency in our services
In 2023 we helped more than 2000 individuals receive faith-sensitive therapy and healing. Over the course of the year, we also worked hard to develop and improve our counselling services in the following ways:
- Bringing more than 20 new counsellors and CBT therapists onto the team
- Revamping our referral system to reduce wait times
- Collaborating with Khalil Center USA to provide training for counsellors and CBT therapists in the area of Religious OCD
- Setting up referral pathways with multiple organisations, charities and the NHS to access faith-sensitive services
We held multiple fundraising activities during 2023:
- We held “Iftar with Inspirited Minds” with the intention of engaging with the local community to raise awareness for our cause. The event, held on the 31st of March 2023 at the Jack Carter Pavilion in Redbridge, was sold out with more than 90 attendees! The speakers shared their knowledge and experience on the subject of mental health, and one of our volunteers shared their lived experience of religious OCD as a powerful example. We are grateful to all our speakers who contributed with their time during this wonderful evening, Alhamdulillah. We received donations of up to £752.
- We also held multiple challenges in order to raise funds during Ramadan, receiving a total of 23 signups and £6,355 raised!
- Fasted Mindful trek of Mount Snowdon
- Fasted Walk/Run/Cycle
- 30 Days of Kindness
- 30-Day Detox
- Sunnah Suhoor
- The IM-7-a-side football tournament was held on 13th of August in honour of a family member of brother Taha Varda who passed away due to their battle with mental health. We saw a total of 100 participants on the day! All monies generated were donated towards IM as Sadaqah Ja’ariyah in the name of the deceased – Afridi Mudas. Thank you to all the participants and organisers! This event raised £1,075.
- We are also working to gather corporate donations from organisations such as Qadr Financial! We’ve seen a total of 5 new corporate sponsors this year, and gathered a total of £1600.
- We had a total of 234 donors, including our torchbearers, in 2023 and are hoping to increase this number in 2024!
Total amount raised in 2023: £9,781.58
We applied to the following grants over the course of 2023:
- Sovereign Grant – shortlisted and unsuccessful
- LHEP Grant
- GSK Health Inequalities Grant – Kings Fund
- Happiness Fund Cycle 1 Application
- LHW Grant
- Compass Wellbeing
What to look forward to in 2024:
Lots of content on our theme of the year: Suicide within Muslim communities.
A huge JazakAllah Khayr to everyone who attended our consultations and shared their feedback on this theme. We hope to take your feedback and create:
- Suicide-themed resources and booklets
- Khutbah on suicidal ideations as a Muslim
- Suicide research study in the Muslim community
- & more!
If you did not get a chance to share your ideas, opinions and feedback, please do so here.
Exciting Podcast Episodes
We have an incredible line-up of guest speakers that we cannot wait to publish! We do need a video editor to help our team though, so if you would like to work for a good cause, please apply here.
Monthly Masterclasses, online and hybrid
We aim to deliver monthly masterclasses, excluding Ramadan, and aim to have 4 out of 11 online, and the remaining 7 hybrid. We have invested in better equipment to ensure it is a better experience for all that join in-person and online.
Our team has worked incredibly hard in 2023 to develop a training course for Imams and Community Leaders and healthcare providers as part of their CPD and we are hoping to get it accredited and ready to deliver in mid-late 2024 In Shaa Allah. We are also aiming for another unique and exciting training course that will be readily available for the public also!
Repeated Support Groups
Due to the success and demand of our support groups, we aim to continue to deliver them back to back in 2024 In Shaa Allah, with a mixture of online and in-person ones to cater for all types of audiences and locations. We will be repeating current ones we have and also announcing 2 new ones.
Exciting New Book Club Sessions
Due to the huge interest in our book club, we will be continuing sessions once every 2 months with topical books and features authors as guests. Our next one is in February and features Palestinian Author Jehan Helou who penned a book on the stories of Palestinian women. If you want to feature as an author OR suggest a book, please get in touch!
Lots of Fundraising Events!
In an attempt to connect more with local communities, we will be holding more varied and fun events this year, so please do keep checking our socials for more information on this. If you would like to fundraise for a good cause, then reach out to us and we’ll get you set up!
Keep an eye out for us!
As part of our ongoing community engagement efforts, our community engagement workers will be doubling up their efforts to attend community awareness/health days, community events and getting into more masaajid. If you want us to attend an event or hold a stall at an upcoming community event, then get in touch!
And so much more!
From our team to you, we would like to thank you for all your continued support during this difficult year. InshaAllah, the Almighty blesses this new year with compassion, Shifaa (healing) and Rahma (Mercy) in all your endeavours, Ameen!