Inter Faith Week

Inter Faith Week

Written by Ali, Volunteer Coordinator, The Cellar Trust

Spending my whole life in Bradford as a second generation British born Muslim of Pakistani heritage has influenced and shaped me into the person I am today, however the broader cultural heritage of this city and diverse communities are part of the wider influences of my life. Reflecting on these influences during Inter Faith Week seems fitting to celebrate the work of faith and interfaith groups.

My earliest memories of faith at home were of the Quran that sat high on our cupboard in my childhood home. I remember the care and etiquette that my dad exercised when he took it out to read. As a child I had little understanding of what this book was, all I knew was that it was important. Growing up I started to understand things better, learning that Quran is the word of God, knowing it to be an ocean of science history and stories. It is a vehicle for one to learn and reflect as well as to attain benefits of the mind and soul.

School was a gateway into other worlds and understanding different faiths. I remember the excitement going to school knowing that the day was going to be fun because it wasn’t just schoolwork; religious events meant fun. Learning about the Hindu festival of Holi or the celebration of Easter involved colours, costumes and food. If a by-product of all that fun was learning about the stories, values and important lessons of those religious events then it was a bonus. Nothing could compare to the fanfare and excitement of Christmas though; the full class would be decorated, cards would be exchanged, and sweets, cakes and crisps were always on the menu for the school Christmas party. The highlight in primary was playing one of the wise men in the school play and this taught me the important lessons of selflessness and humility of Jesus through the story of the nativity.

My own faith has been a large influence in my personal development as well as my moral and social stranding in life. Being there for friends and family, observing patience and gratitude, and giving charity are values that I practice, and their origin has been from my faith, but it wouldn’t be fair to say that my faith was the only factor. I am humbled when I say that I have learnt some significant lessons in life from those of other faiths or not faith at all. The basic premise of being just, harmonious and respectful are there to Increase understanding between mankind.

All faiths in some way shape or form promote giving counsel, guidance or advice to others through true altruism, and this sits at their foundations. Working in the mental health sector ties in with my faith values and it is this faith that underpins and helps the work to promote improvements and encourage better outcomes for people in their recovery. I feel blessed in every sense of the word!!!


13-20 November 2022

Each year, Inter Faith Week begins on Remembrance Sunday, and runs until the following Sunday. It is hoped that the additional Sunday provides the opportunity for other weekend events to take place as well as those linked to Remembrance Sunday. Remembrance Sunday was chosen as a start day to encourage people to remember together the contributions of all faiths and none, and to consider how best to create a just, peaceful, and harmonious world.


  • Strengthen good inter faith relations at all levels
  • Increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society
  • Increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs

Menopause and Me

Menopause and Me

Written by Becky, Group and Courses Facilitator, The Cellar Trust

I didn’t know, back when I use to mock my mother for making genuine mistakes and having hot flashes, that this was the start of the M word. Nor did I know of any more symptoms. I just knew that we all go through this process. And I certainly didn’t know about ‘the bigger picture’.

I am thankful that I have a lot of understanding people around me at The Cellar Trust who are going through this with me, or who ask questions, like my peers. They have been totally amazing, and I am so grateful we can laugh and cry about it together. Because in going through this I haven’t always been kind to myself (although that is our motto in terms of mental health… and we have to practice what we preach… RIGHT?!)

Yet I find this subject hard to talk about. I know, in my line of work, the power of being able to talk about difficult things. Suicide rates in this country have increased 6% in 20 years between ages of 45-65. In my work, I have to present to groups every day, something people struggling with menopause find difficult. Yet I still feel incompetent right now. I have to explain to groups why I can’t get their names right or pronounce words. I can laugh about it some days, but it is a learning process. Everyone is different but the anxiety around it can be tough.

I am highlighting the menopause, because of how it’s making me feel. Because a lady took her life in Keighley a few years ago. Because her husband is now doing amazing things in terms of peer support and groups. Because the stigma and lack of awareness needs to be addressed. I didn’t know that it extended beyond hot flashes and sleep problems and memory fog. And they feel pretty bad in themselves.

My Mum, who I took the mick out of bless her, thinks I am queen for highlighting this. I feel sad that it wasn’t mentioned back in the day and sorry I had those views back then. Because every day is something out of the ordinary and I am scared because I don’t feel professional.  I just know we are NOT alone in this and thankful I am able to share our experiences in a comfortable space like staff peer support and other support networks.

I welcome a menopause policy dearly and with open arms. Albeit I feel I can’t do my job, and the feelings intensify, and I make stupid little mistakes. The feeling of being useless and not worthy. I am combating those feelings everyday with the help of my team who have been so amazing. I just wanted to have my say in this – my first blog. We do understand and can do this together, bless you all xxx and be kind to yourself whatever you are going though, you are never alone.



World Menopause Day is held every year on 18th October, to raise awareness, break the stigma and highlight the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. Awareness on this topic is fundamental and reducing the stigma attached to it is vital so that more people will talk openly about it so it can begin to be normalised and people can get the support they need.

The theme for 2022 is cognition and mood.

The International Menopause Society has a range of resources to support this year’s theme:

  • Brain fog and menopause: a healthcare professional’s guide for decision making and counselling on cognition download
  • Brain fog and memory difficulties in menopause download
  • How employers can engage employees in marking menopause awareness day download
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or feel like your mental health is deteriorating, you can access crisis support by calling First Response 0800 952 1181. Trained professionals are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Cellar Trust wins prestigious national mental health award

The Cellar Trust wins prestigious national mental health award

The Cellar Trust has won The Peer Support Award 2022 at the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards.

The award recognised the essential role peer support has in mental health services and how The Cellar Trust uses this type of support to underpin its vital services.

The Cellar Trust has been delivering peer support since 2016 beginning with its crisis service: Haven and has continued to build on this through a range of services from the Safe Spaces to the Pathways to Employment Team, and the MAST which includes Peer Support Workers in Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale Hospital.

Peer support is a non-clinical form of support and involves people using their own experiences of mental health challenges to share understanding, hope and improved wellbeing with others. 96% of The Cellar Trusts clients said that peer support was an important part of the service to them. Building on its own positive experiences, The Cellar Trust charity also delivers accredited Peer Support Training and supervision to other organisations locally and nationally.

Speaking after the awards Kim Shutler, CEO at The Cellar Trust said:

“Peer Support has been fundamental to how we deliver our crisis support services, in hospitals and in the community. We know the huge positive impact it can have on individuals struggling with their mental health and wellbeing because, above all else, it gives people hope. It’s wonderful to be recognised with this award as we continue to provide this support to people when they need it most. The pandemic and the current cost of living crisis means people are really feeling the impact on their mental health. Having this kind of support available makes such a difference.”

Speaking of his experience joining one of The Cellar Trust’s peer support groups, Gary said:

“The one place I felt like I was actually listened to and taken seriously was my Peer Support Group. They helped me cope with all the stress, anger and negative emotions the more acute services were causing me. In particular, the way the group was led by the Peer Support Workers amazed me. I cannot express how much they have helped me and supported me in my progress.’