Taraki x Movember: Reflection 23

Taraki x Movember: Reflection 23
Taraki have been awarded a grant to co-develop the Cha in the City peer support spaces for Punjabi men. This blog is part of a series where our project team reflects on the process of this project, key learnings, and important milestones.

In January we started the delivery of our men’s peer support facilitator training program across Birmingham, Leeds and Leicester. The following reflections are written by Taimour Ahmed, the Project Lead and Gurpreet Singh the Co-facilitator supporting the delivery of the program.

Taimour Reflections:

As the project lead who’s been involved in this project since August 2021, it was quite a proud and emotional moment for me to re-start the delivery of our sessions after a 1 year break from session delivery. For me, there has been so much change in my life since the start of this project. I’ve grown, I’ve fallen and I’ve re-built myself. While there have been moments of great instability in my life, my work is the one place I always return to for meaning, purpose and stability. The days and seasons may change and my life may shift, however, my dedication and commitment to our work and the men in our communities stays the same. If anything it continues to flourish the more I come into myself and our work. On reflection, I guess this is why I felt emotional as we re-started the delivery of our peer support facilitation program to a new group of men. This work has followed me through many seasons of my life and will continue to follow and grow with me.

In our work, we have a saying ‘I’m looking forward to being surprised’. It’s a mantra we un-officially created after having many conversations that left us positively surprised by how beautiful, endearing and caring men in our communities can be - especially if provided the appropriate space.

With this in mind, as we start the delivery of our training spaces again, I really just wanted to share a short reflection on how much I look forward to being surprised again, because I have an endless list. First of all, I’m really looking forward to being surprised by the curiosity of men we work with and how much they strive for positivity in themselves. Equally, I look forward to having my own unconscious biases being challenged - of which I have many. Another aspect I really look forward to is having conversations that directly challenge the mainstream beliefs we all hold about the rigidity of masculinity. Most importantly, I look forward to building beautiful bonds with men in our communities, friendships that that span time and ultimately seasons.

Gurpreet Reflections:

After joining the team in December 2023 as a co-facilitator for the project, I was very eager to get started; this was an amazing opportunity to work with my own community after working in primary mental healthcare. Initially, there was an online call with the three groups, which led to the first in-person meeting in January 2024 to deliver week 1 of the curriculum.

I had no prior expectations about the calibre of individuals we would be training, and I’m glad I didn’t; I was pleasantly surprised at everyone’s levels. Everyone had been on a journey to arrive at this point, and I enjoyed observing everyone as they began to share their expectations for the course. It was great to meet everyone and get to know their names; I made notes on each individual in preparation for the beginning of the online curriculum.

In our check-ins at the beginning of each call, most (including me) talk of the stresses of the day; however, by the end of the session, we are all enthused and full of life; this is a testament to what we all put into this space. I enjoy delivering the sessions; I am confident and feel I have the capacity to give the attendees what they need. I have been involved in many conversations that I wouldn’t have had before, and for this, I am grateful; I take my own notes from the feedback and shares, as I feel I am always learning.

I look forward to more of the upcoming sessions, and I know they will continue to enjoy the content as those who attend are very engaged and concentrated on the content and discussions. So far, I can already feel that many of them will go on to do some really meaningful work with our curriculum forming the foundation for this. I feel truly grateful to be able to contribute to the learning and evolvement of each individual that we are currently training.

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