Whilst many of us are working or sheltering at home, there are a number of people working hard to keep Regent’s Place going. We wanted to take a moment to share their experiences, as well as the experiences of those who are looking after the people who need it most in our community, ensuring they are supported, both during lockdown and beyond.
Former (and soon to be again) regulars at Regent’s Place, Pass the Mic Sis (PtMSis) have embraced all things digital to ensure their community remains connected. We caught up with them to find out how they are celebrating their third birthday and marking Ramadan when the community can’t come together as usual.
What is your organisation called and what does it do?
Pass the Mic Sis is an event series providing a platform for professional Muslim women to support, learn, and network with each other, within a series of business-oriented sessions. We cover a range of different topics from work life balance, social media for business, setting up your own business, book clubs, and mindfulness. The latter two are our most recent events both of which have been delivered online. We have also previously held annual Eid parties (both at Regent’s Place and other locations) where Muslim sisters can come together to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed environment.
We aim to bring unity to the workplace in a positive and engaging manner, befitting the etiquettes of our faith. We want our members to gain confidence, share skills, and learn from each other’s experiences. We hope to grow the group with more professional Muslim women across different industries at various stages of their careers.
What’s your relationship with Regent’s Place?
Over the past year, Regent’s Place has provided us with a range of beautiful and professional venues to host from. The team at Regent’s Place has provided us with much needed encouragement and support to develop PtMSis as a community group, providing advice on event management during the current pandemic and how to develop an action plan and growth strategy so that we can attract potential partners and collaborations with other groups.
We’ve also attended career workshops and school assemblies arranged by Regent’s Place to promote Muslim women in the workplace; it is important that children and young adults see the positive contribution Muslim women make to society.
What have you learned during the COVID-19 crisis?
We have entered the 21st Century! We held our first online event at the end of March, it was a milestone for us to reach prior to our 3rd birthday. An international speaker led the session and enabled those who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to attend.
Human beings, for all our flaws, are adaptable, resilient, and can show an immense sense of solidarity when the going gets tough.
How is the lockdown affecting the way you experience Ramadan?
With community congregations banned in light of social distancing rules, it will be the first time many will not be able to gather at masjids for daily prayers and breaking fast. It feels very strange.
The weeks leading up to the Holy Month, in retrospect, were an opportunity for us to prepare mentally and physically. Our heightened awareness of basic hygiene, of our consumption and waste, showing kindness to others and lending a helping hand when and where needed; these are all aspects of our journey of self-reflection and becoming a better version of ourselves during Ramadan.
In that sense, the lockdown has been a blessing in disguise. Being at home means we can pray on time, we are not as tired due to the daily commute to/from work, and we have more time to concentrate on our spiritual connection with the Quran and God. At the same time, we are able to spend invaluable time and strengthen our bond with family – eating, praying, and learning together as a unit.
What are your Top Tips to keep motivated and have fun at home?
Connect with family and friends through video chat.
Take time out to do something that you normally wouldn’t have time for.
Set yourself a goal for each day – even if it something as basic as getting out of your PJs!
Keep a gratitude journal and list all the things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
Create a schedule of activities to keep your mind and body active.
What are the biggest challenges your organisation faces?
One of the biggest challenges is growth and consistency in event attendance and creating a balance between nurturing new and old friendships.
Being able to reach others who have genuine interest in attending our events but are unable to attend in person is not always straight forward. We hope our new digital experience can be used to combine physical and remote attendance in the future.
Associations and collaborations are the way forward in order to reach a wider community. Whether this is through partnering on future events, joining forces in holding career workshops for the next generation, or finding keynote speakers.
Pass the Mic Sis is a 100% volunteer run group and we do not benefit financially from any of the events we host. In order to maintain an inclusive and welcoming environment we generally do not charge for our events, as we see what we do as a form of sadaqah (charity) and Corporate Social Responsibility. We are continuously reviewing ways to improve and facilitate consistent attendance numbers.
If you would like to learn more about Pass the Mic Sis please contact Rose Alexander