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London to Paris

Shaz will be cycling from London to Paris to fundraise for Oxfordshire Mind. On the three day cycle Shaz will clock up over 180 miles to complete his unique ride! His route will start with a 65 mile ride from London to Newhaven, on the second day Shaz will cycle from Dieppe to Cergy finishing with a ride from Cergy to Paris on the third day. At the heart of this ride is a desire to raise awareness of mental health problems affecting all communities.

“I have lived in Oxford all my life and as a member of the Muslim Pakistani community I personally recognise the great work you are all doing. The reason I wanted to fundraise for Oxfordshire Mind is to create awareness that some kind of mental illness effects us all regardless of our cultural background, not just women but men to. I was aware of your involvement within the community but wanted to try and open a dialogue for Muslim men too. Me cycling for Muslim community events and being able to give back to my community by one. Creating awareness of Oxfordshire Mind and two, hoping to engage with you and your services to help the Muslim men and letting them know that your services are open to them to.”
Shaz (Shahzad) Yousaf.

At the beginning of the year, with help from Public Health, Oxfordshire Mind ran a new project supporting Asian Women in Wood Farm with around 15 participants predominantly from the Muslim community. Sensitive to group members cultural and religious beliefs, the project which supports beneficiaries’ physical health and wellbeing will continue for a further year with funding from National Mind. The project has been so successful that Oxfordshire Mind hopes to establish a similar group in Banbury.

For Dan Knowles, CEO of Oxfordshire Mind: “This Project is building on other work we have undertaken with the Muslim community in the past and is helping to address some of the particular issues and challenges faced by participants. The group work programme seems to be really successful by combining a wide ranging activity programme, peer support, structured inputs on wellbeing and talks on physical health in a culturally sensitive way. Participants have told us the project is really helping to promote their wellbeing and physical health, improve confidence levels and supporting a number of participants overcome isolation. We are very grateful for Shaz’s fundraising efforts as it will help us to expand our engagement with the Muslim Pakistani community in Oxfordshire.”

You can sponser Shaz here.