Last week the MH UK Community Development team attended the fourth British Muslim Awards presented by Al Rayan Bank after team member, Sofia Buncy was nominated for a Civil Services award. The ceremony which was held in Birmingham, was a celebration of the achievements of the British Muslim community across a wide range of industries and disciplines including media, sports, business, charity and the arts. We caught up with Sofia to find out how the night went:
'It was an honour and very humbling to be a finalist in the British Muslim awards 2016 in the Civil Services category for developing the Muslim Women in Prison Project.
The awards celebrate the talent of the UK British Muslim community using 22 categories of recognition. As you can imagine, the competition is fierce. I was particularly pleased that the Muslim Women in Prison project was on the radar at this national event as my concern has always been that the subject is too taboo and shrouded in community ‘dishonor’ to be publicly spoken about.
The ceremony was a glamorous black tie event and it was a real joy to meet people from different walks of life and to see the diverse projects which they had pioneered. These awards are a vital part of challenging the dominant narrative regarding British Muslims in the media at the moment and it was a great feeling to see the venue packed out with over 400 guests.
As the evening transpired, I was particularly pleased to see that women and young people from our community had swept the board on awards. This is testimony to the rising and diverse talent which we harbor in our community.
The Muslim Hands team had an incredible evening catching up with old friends from across the UK, many of whom we have long term community ties with. It was also an opportunity to forge new friendships, celebrate achievement and show our pride in being British Muslims'.
Muslim Women in Prison is just one of the many amazing projects that Muslim Hands supports in the UK. The service provides support for women in custody and post-release, assisting them and their families with re-settling back into the community.
The stigma attached to Muslim women in prison can make it very difficult for women to continue their lives within their family and community once they are released. The Muslim Women in Prison project aims to promote open discussion about the topic within the Muslim community as well as supporting female offenders with everything from financial assistance to helping them regain confidence and self-esteem.