Dr Haseena Lockhat talks about the importance of inspirational relatebale role models for the young as she steps down as chair of Mosaic-West Midlands.

After 12 years at Mosaic WM, Dr Haseena Lockhat has taken the decision to step down as chair and pass on the baton.

At the recent Mosaic event Dr Haseena Lockhat delivered an emotional speech documenting her experience & journey since joining Mosaic West Midlands in 2009 and her role as a Chair for Mosaic West Midlands.

Dr Haseena Lockhat has always been a passionate supporter of Mosaic from the beginning, she attended a dinner back in 2007 where she met Pinky Lilani who inspired her to achieve and remains an inspiration to Haseena to this day.

Haseena said: “Pinky must have seen something in me that night, that she connected with, and she kept in touch, encouraging and involving me in various initiatives, including asking me to be an Ambassador on the  Women of the Future Initiative that she had set up, to encourage and mentor aspiring women and girls from the Asian community.

But she did more than that, she introduced me to people  that she thought would be beneficial to me in my personal development, including John O’Brian, the Founding MD of Mosaic, who three months later, invited me to become a part of The Prince of Wales Mosaic Muslim Mentoring Initiative.

I was one of a small number of people invited to attend the intimate launch of Mosaic at Clarence House, hosted by HRH Prince Charles himself!

What inspired me more than anything was the commitment that Prince Charles himself made in wanting to make a difference to the lives of young muslims- post 7/7.

The launch of Mosaic West Midlands in 2009, tied in nicely with motherhood, …as I was also able to continue my voluntary mentoring locally, whilst also being part of the Regional Leadership Group”.

In August 2015, Haseena was invited to take up the Chairship for Mosaic WM.

Haseena said: “When I accepted this privilege, it was with the personal conviction that – together with my Mosaic and Regional Leadership Group Colleagues, we would develop and deliver an ambitious vision, around mentor recruitment as well as getting Mosaic as a brand, recognized  across the region, and we worked tirelessly to do this.

I am proud that under my leadership in the first couple of years we recruited over 500 volunteer mentors who  mentored over 2500 young people across more than 60 schools in the West Midlands Region. Mosaic won 2 awards locally, and was one of 2 chosen charities nominated by Love Brum to receive some money in 2016.”

Haseena has also been honoured with an award at the British Muslim Awards in 2016 for Services to communities.

In 2016, Mosaic was fully supported under the initiative of The Prince’s Trust which in itself had it’s challenges ensuring that Mosaic still had an identity.

Haseena said: “The Princes Trust is no doubt a well-established organisation with a world class reputation, but it now has to shake its’ reputation as being an organization that serves the white middle class. To do this, it needs to be ENGAGE, LISTEN, HEAR, LEARN, CONNECT and MOST importantly, CHANGE what it does, through ITS’ ACTIONS – NOT just through words, or tick boxes”.

In March 2019, Mosaic made a start by hosting an event around knife crime and youth violence. This event was pioneering in many ways.

Firstly, it saw the Prince’s Trust positioning itself as an organization well placed in the community to host discussions and debates around this very topical, sensitive and worrying issue that has plagued our beautiful city too.

Secondly, doors to the centre were open, for the very first time on a Saturday.

Thirdly, we successfully pulled in faith organisations, educators, youth workers, charities, community organisations, local businesses, parents, and young people – from some but not all of the diverse communities that make up our region. We gave them a platform to tell us how we, as a mainstream, well established, credible youth organization – needed to be better supporting the needs of our young people.

Through the personal links and networks of Haseena and the Regional Leadership Group colleagues we were able to bring in new footfall, and the Prince’s Trust was able to connect with communities who, for a variety of reasons, have never engaged with the Prince’s Trust before.

Haseena also added: “I know that were it not for the inspirational role models that I HAD, and that I HAVE around me, including my parents – and especially my Mum,  who ALWAYS encouraged me when my chips were down;  my lecturer  Paul Orsmond at University, who told me I would go far; and my now ex-husband who encouraged me to push myself, and do WAY OUT things like writing a book on FGM, and accept my first Non Exec Board position at the Home Office,   – when I was tempted to walk away, thinking others would do a better job than I could.

“I  HAD relatable role models who encouraged me and who believed in me and saw my potential  – even when I didn’t.

“Without these individuals, I KNOW I would NOT be standing here right now, with a career history, and life experiences that I am really proud of.

“I AM Proud to be a  MUSLIM , FEMALE, ASIAN, MUM of 2 lovely boys, with a SUCCESSFUL  career, AMAZING opportunities, and a VERY BLESSED work life balance.

“Living in this country, we are fortunate that success does not have to be at the expense of culture, religion or identity.

“If you believe in yourself, and have the right support, you really can achieve anything in life and that is why I am so passionate about the work that Mosaic do.”

To find about more and how to get involved visit: www.mosaicnetwork.co.uk


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