October 10th sees Penny Appeal’s Mini CEO (11-year-old Shakira Rahman) launch the MY (Muslim Youth) Helpline, providing listening and mental health support for young people between the ages of 11 to 24. The MY Helpline is a confidential and non-judgemental service for young Muslims across the UK. It will provide faith and culturally sensitive support for any young Muslim facing challenges such as sexuality, family abuse, bullying and cultural or religious pressures which affect many in modern British society.
Anyone who calls the MY Helpline will be put through to a fully trained and experienced practitioner, who will talk with each caller for as long as they wish. Practitioners will listen and support callers through the emotions they are experiencing, providing necessary support. The MY service can also provide access to counsellors with Islamic knowledge (via email) within 48 hours. If needed, callers can be transferred to specialist organisations that can assist them with issues that require extra care. The Freephone helpline, email and web-chat provide national coverage and are open 4pm – 10pm, 7 days a week (excluding bank holidays) to listen and to help.
The Helpline’s team is headed by Hinna Zafar, a qualified counsellor in Psychology. Hinna says: “We aim to bring a service which will ensure a safe environment when making calls to us regarding issues such as exam stress, Islamophobia, relationships and family matters. My team and I are here seven days a week to listen and support young Muslims, not only in regards to modern day issues, but also around cultural and faith based matters.”
Penny Appeal’s Mini CEO, Shakira Rahman, says: “Setting up this youth line was one of my first ideas when I joined Penny Appeal. I have my mum to talk to about problems such as social media pressure, classroom bullying or body image worries. But many of my Muslim friends at school are too scared to talk to their families as they feel that they will not be understood. So I think that this line will be really helpful for my friends, and many girls and boys throughout the UK.”
Shakira Rahman aka Kid Boss will also be making a speech at the 2019 Muslim Council of GB conference on October 12th (Leicester City FC Stadium). The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Our Mosques Our Future’. Shakira will deliver a speech about young Muslim people and the role they need to play in the future of Mosques around the UK. She will tackle subjects, such as the digital age, young girls’ and women’s involvement in the future runnings of Mosques as well as female leadership in the Muslim faith community.