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Community Leaders Network

  • 22 helpers

The Community Leaders Network (CLN) aims to develop a network of leaders united in reducing violence and enhancing community safety. It’s set to achieve this through support, collaboration, and empowering community leaders. Our Vision is for safer, more inclusive communities where individuals take responsibility for their actions across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.

  • Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
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Uzair Makadam

Khidmah Organisation

Uzair is a versatile individual with a background as an Imam, teacher, and now a police officer. From guiding communities spiritually to educating future generations, he brings a wealth of experience in fostering understanding and cooperation. Uzair currently volunteers for Khidmah Organisation which is dedicated to community service and empowerment through diverse initiatives. From community fundays, food drives, disaster relief and even educational support, Khidmah collaborates with local partners to make a meaningful impact.

Kathleen Harris – Leighton

Kara Training - Training and Development for all ages. EDI Specialist

WEN empowers women to overcome life’s challenges through a supportive community, fostering strength, confidence, and resilience in every member.

Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) is dedicated to supporting women who feel overlooked or overwhelmed by the challenges of everyday life. Founded on the principle that no woman should feel “”not enough,”” WEN provides a supportive community where women can find solace, empowerment, and growth. From personal development programs to financial and business acumen, WEN offers comprehensive resources, including education access, job readiness training, and health well-being check-ins. WEN aims to empower women to live fully and confidently, embracing each day with purpose and passion, helping them transition from feeling invisible to feeling invincible.

Kathleen, the founder of WEN, has navigated numerous personal challenges, from relationship issues to loss and health struggles. Her journey inspired her to create a supportive network for women facing similar hardships. Kathleen’s vision for WEN is to offer a sanctuary where women can find strength and community, ensuring no one has to face life’s trials alone. Her leadership is driven by a profound commitment to empowering women through unity and shared resilience.

Aadam Muhammad

Second Genesis/X-ellent

Second Genesis is a registered charity with a social enterprise arm, X-ellent, dedicated to enhancing community life through education, training, and support. Their goals include raising life standards for all, with a special focus on those facing challenges due to mental, physical, social handicaps, or discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, age, race, or religion. They emphasise the role of education in societal development and participation.

Their services include training, personal development, performing arts support, career coaching, business development, mentoring, and community advocacy.

Rukhsana Hussain

Outspoken / LCFC in the community

Empowering individuals and families to voice their support needs, enabling them to reach their full potential through choice, control, and opportunities.

“Rukhsana Hussain, founder of Outspoken, has been a pillar of support in East Leicester since 2015. Through her organization, she empowers youth and their families, offering a platform for them to express their needs and access beneficial groups and networks. Rukhsana’s commitment to grassroots involvement allows her to connect empathetically with various communities, providing support with understanding, non-judgment, and compassion. This approach helps individuals recover and thrive within their communities.

Rukhsana’s belief in the power of joint ventures and collaborations has established many positive relationships, fostering trust and opening opportunities throughout the community. Her leadership has earned her numerous awards, recognizing her tireless and selfless dedication not only to Leicester but also beyond. Rukhsana’s efforts have significantly impacted the community service space, guiding many to success and inspiring others across all walks of life with her passion and confidence.

Outspoken provides critical support in urgent situations, including one-on-one emotional support sessions, counselling, signposting to essential services, and practical assistance. The organization also offers cultural competency training, the Emotional Culture Deck for building positive workplace cultures, and a Self-Discovery Programme aimed at self-reflection and personal growth. These initiatives are designed to empower individuals and organizations to understand and serve diverse communities better.

Additional Services Offered:

Cultural Competency Training: Effective communication with people from all cultures.
Emotional Culture Deck: Strategies to foster a positive workplace environment.
Self-Discovery Programme: Enhancing self-understanding and providing clarity on life’s direction.”

Farhiyo Abdi


Empowering local women and youth through education, support, and opportunities.

Women4Change, created by a group of dedicated mothers in St Matthews in November 2019, focuses on uplifting and empowering women and young people within the community. This organisation emerged in response to pressing local issues such as unemployment, educational deficiencies, health disparities, and has since navigated challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, knife crime, mental health struggles, and the escalating cost of living crisis. Offering services including advice, educational workshops, language support, and family support programs in collaboration with partners fostering a safer, more inclusive environment for all.

ZamZam Yusuf

ZamZam Unlimited Possibilities CIC

Cultivating Young Leaders and Celebrating Cultural Diversity for a Harmonious Future.

“ZamZam Unlimited Possibilities CIC is a non-profit organisation based in Leicester, dedicated to nurturing cultural diversity and creating youth leadership opporutnies through comprehensive educational and developmental initiatives. Established to bridge cultural gaps and empower young individuals, ZamZam operates with a vision of a harmonious society where diverse backgrounds are celebrated and young leaders are well-equipped to influence positive societal change. The organisation conducts enlightening cultural workshops, engaging speaker sessions, and tailored youth development programs, focusing on cultural appreciation and personal growth. By participating in their programs, communities contribute to a more inclusive environment and support the development of young leaders within the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland regions.

As a Founder, Director, and Youth and Community Development Practitioner, I’ve devoted my career to empowering young people and strengthening communities. Through innovative programs and initiatives, I’ve made a positive impact on many lives, driven by a passion for social justice and equality.

Moreover, I’m deeply committed to social responsibility, actively fostering a sense of community and advocating for positive social change. Moving forward, I’m excited to continue making a difference in the lives of young people and communities. Additionally, I’m eager to expand my impact by incorporating cultural training on Somali culture and heritage, further enriching the experiences of those I serve.

Tom Walters

Voluntary Action Rutland

Enhancing Rutland’s quality of life through a vibrant voluntary and community sector.

Voluntary Action Rutland (VAR) has been a cornerstone of the Rutland community, operating from Oakham for over 23 years and facilitating thousands of community activities. Serving more than 28,000 people annually, VAR is renowned for its continuous, 43-year-old community transport and social car scheme.

Tom Walters, the CEO of VAR, is wanting to make a meaningful impact in the rural community of Rutland. Beyond his role at VAR, Tom contributes to Leicester’s community groups and is a member of the Violence Reduction Network board. In his personal life, Tom’s passions include spending time with his family, engaging in sports, particularly running, and enjoying the company of dogs, striking a balance between professional dedication and personal interests.

Mikey Bown

BiG! (CIC)

Our BiG! mission…
The overall mission of BiG! is to addresses the issues of Social Inequality within local communities
that hinder Personal Development, Socioeconomic Development, Educational Attainment that give
rise to Antisocial Behaviour(s) by working with young people mainly though sports activities

BiG! Inclusion…
As an active participant serving ALL communities, BiG! works closely with vulnerable groups and
families offering critical intervention on a range of issues including addressing Antisocial Behaviour –
Absenteeism from School – Disability Awareness – Social Inclusion – Food Poverty
Our BIG! strength is in the provision of Open Access Inclusive Activities and Projects that reach out to
the most marginalised in our communities
BiG! works in collaboration with a wide variety of partners that including Local People, Local
Community Groups, Local Schools & Academies, Local Police, Local Councils, Local Businesses in
the delivery of projects and programs to empower individuals and communities
BiG! is currently working on Anti-Social Programs with several partners delivering Sports Sessions
and Youth Clubs (including it’s BiG! Fun Football Sessions – the Den Project Babington
Academy – the Beaumont Leys Youth Club) to address the current rise in Anti-Social Behaviour
that will add security, value and benefit the lives young people within the local community
For more information contact Executive Director / Founder Mikey Bown

Omid Lohoni

Leicester City of Sanctuary

Leicester and supports them to rebuild their lives, develop their skills and feel part of the
I came from Iran to the UK as a person seeking Asylum in November 2020 during the
pandemic and was moved to Leicester.
I started as a volunteer at LCoS learning the registration process and interpreting and
translating using my language skills. I was fortunate to join the Leadership in the Community
programme in 2022. At a similar time I was admitted to the Pre-Sessional course, which is a
high level English course, at the University of Leicester.
In late 2022 the post of Project-Office / Caseworker was advertised and I was happy to apply.
I was appointed to the position in November 2022. I now run the weekly hub session which
includes taking charge of registrations, leading on casework and referrals to other
organisations, training and managing volunteers and keeping the charity’s data up to date.I
work with a team of other staff and volunteers including volunteers who are Asylum seekers
and refugees. I also support our New Evidence Search Team (NEST), which is a team of
volunteers led by a University of Leicester staff member, to work on Asylum Claims which
have been refused by the Home Office to find more evidence to support their case.
During my time working with LCoS I have attended a variety of training courses including
Safeguarding, Emergency First Aid, Drug and Alcohol Awareness.
I have undertaken some external engagements. I have spoken about my experiences on
Radio Leicester and Channel 4 news and was also a part of a university of Leicester panel
discussion, during their refugee week, when I spoke about how my experience as a volunteer helped me gain employment in the UK.

Ivan Liburd

Leicester Nirvana FC

Using football as a vehicle to empower and provide opportunities for all young people and families

Ivan is one of five people that run Leicester Nirvana Football Club, one of the most diverse grassroots clubs in the region. Today, Leicester Nirvana embodies more than just football and aims to be a platform that allows young people to access life-changing opportunities via football and other arenas. With a strong community focus, Nirvana continues to fuse football and the sporting development of individuals with the wider work of advocacy to influence public policy and the decisions that ultimately affect their members.

Whilst working at Leicester City Council, Ivan developed a pilot partnership with the Children and Young People Justice service and developed a youth reparation coach mentorship programme with young people involved in or entering the criminal justice service.

He has taken the lead on a partnership between Leicester Nirvana, De Montfort University (DMU) and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) global hub for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), committing to a long-term vision of working with the club. This partnership became the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, with the aim to develop the first Net Zero Carbon amateur football club in the UK.

Ivan led and launched a project for Leicester Nirvana, announcing its exhibition, ‘Leicester Nirvana: The Pioneers’, at Leicester Museum and Gallery, the most prestigious museum in the city. This exhibition showcases the history of Leicester Nirvana, and its evolution from inception to its ambitious aspirations for the future.

As a Community Safety Coordinator, Ivan has worked to develop long term strategies to reduce violence amongst young people as a strategic lead for Leicester City Council’s Knife Crime and Serious Violence strategy. His work is led by taking a Public Health approach and providing a framework which seeks to understand the causes violence and respond with interventions to prevent or reduce violence, at the population level, informed by the best available evidence. Prior to this, Ivan worked at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and was there at the conception of the Governments rollout of Violence Reduction Network (Units) across the Country, Leicester being one of them.

Leveraging a public health approach to tackling violence prevention, he designed a programme that would give community members a level of learning that is typically only offered to corporates, local authority or university staff. Focusing on leadership styles, leading teams, theory of change, trauma informed approaches, as well as other theoretical approaches. he stayed with the idea and managed to get it procured and commissioned allowing 20 community members to access the course for free. The Leicestershire Community Leadership Programme has now been commissioned in Leicestershire and West Yorkshire.

Meena Kumari

H.O.P.E Training & Consultancy

Empowering change through high-quality training in domestic abuse, sexual violence/abuse, and safeguarding.

H.O.P.E Training & Consultancy, founded in 2008 by Meena Kumari, is dedicated to empowering professionals through knowledge on Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence, and Safeguarding. It began with a focus on Forced Marriages, Honour Abuse, and Female Genital Mutilation, expanding to cover a wider range of topics. H.O.P.E’s mission is to foster growth, awareness, and proactive conversations in a safe, trauma-informed environment, aiming for equity in training. The organisation has made significant strides in raising awareness and educating professionals, ensuring that safeguarding remains a priority in all sectors.

Meena Kumari, the driving force behind H.O.P.E, has a history of activism, advocacy, and accolades since 2005. Recognised for her contributions with awards such as the Leicester Young Achiever Award and the High Sheriff of Leicestershire award, Meena’s dedication to combating honour abuse and supporting victims is unparalleled. Her roles have varied from a magistrate to an independent safeguarding panel member, showcasing her commitment across different platforms. Through H.O.P.E, Meena continues to inspire change and support those affected by domestic and sexual violence.

Manjit Rai

Buddhi (The People's Buddhi CIC)

Empowering Body, Mind and Spirit Through Holistic Health Support

Buddhi, formed in 2008 and founded in 2018 in Leicestershire, is a wellness center dedicated to nurturing the holistic wellbeing of its clients. Offering a broad range of services aimed at enhancing emotional, mental and physical health, Buddhi specialises in mindfulness, life coaching, art therapy, non conventional sport and fitness and holistic therapies. Each program is carefully designed to promote inner peace and physical wellness, supporting individuals in their journey towards a balanced lifestyle. Buddhi’s approach is rooted in the belief that true peace comes from within, and they are committed to providing a healing and friendly environment where everyone can work towards bettering their mind, body, and soul.

Manjit Rai MCIPD O.A.Dip NLP, Founder, Director and Holistic Educator

She strives to be the ‘ripple in the ocean’ to make that change in society, challenging cultural ‘norms’.

The passion and driving force behind this is a beautiful personal journey which is developing and evolving everyday. Subjected to domestic abuse in varying forms, Manjit utilised her lived experience, HR Professional skills, expertise as well as her accreditation within the ever-growing list of Holistic Therapies to advocate for and support recovery in individuals, families, groups, communities and corporate organisations and to enhance staff wellness with emotional, mental health, physical and overall wellbeing.

As a HR professional, Community Leader, Author, Advocate, Representator on Media, Menopause Champion, Women’s Health, Dementia Champion, one of three core members of the Local Mental Health Forum, member of the Local Independant Advisory Group for the Police, Wellbeing Community Champion, Founder of the Buddhi Men’s Support Group, Trauma Informed Champion, Mental Health First Aider, Suicide Prevention, Clinical Research Ambassador, Relationship Mediator, Women’s Wellness Ambassador (including sexual health), Reiki Master, Naturopathist, Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Mindfulness, Kindfulness, Heartfulness Coach, non-conventional fitness e.g. Mindful Walking, Mindful Stretching, Mindful Relaxation, Mindful Eating and Mindful Drinking, her journey and experiences enabled her to feel inspired to follow her passion with a much bigger purpose and zest of life to help, support and inspire others using a holistic approach whilst utilising her other acquired skills, knowledge and experience.
Working in collaboration and partnership with multiple agencies ranging from Home Office, Ministry of Justice, NHS, UHL, VCS Alliance, Leicestershire Police and Local Government as well as local community groups and Faith Councils, Buddhi is enthralled to be part of such inspiring and powerful working relationships to help enrich lives, cultivating integration amongst the wider community.

“I am passionate to learn everyday and use every day life to enable me to be a better person and human so that I can use this continuous development and help to inspire, support, guide and mentor others to live an enriched, fulfilled and joyful life everyday” Manjit Rai MCIPD O.A.Dip NLP


Mohammad Vania

Real Projects UK

Empowering Minds

Real Projects UK empowers individuals and communities through coaching, counselling, mentoring, and recovery services. Their coaching offers personalised guidance for self-discovery and goal achievement, while mentoring provides tailored support for personal and professional growth. In counselling, we create a safe space for clients to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies.

Their chaplaincy and recovery services support those facing trauma, fostering healing and resilience. With a commitment to empowerment and transformation,
Real Projects UK strives to build a stronger, healthier future for all.

Cheryl Armatrading

AAA Foundation

“Challenging Behaviours, Changing Lives” – A commitment to transforming futures.

Cheryl Armatrading is the Managing Director of the Antoin Akpom Achievements Foundation, continuing the inspiring legacy of her son, Antoin. Her efforts in fundraising significantly support the foundation’s mission to nurture and empower children and young people, helping them aspire to be the best versions of themselves through a platform of opportunities aimed at achieving their goals. The foundation offers events and workshops focused on employability, drama, acting, and victim awareness, particularly in Leicester, to combat street violence. Cheryl’s holistic approach also includes supporting families, transforming tragedy into community strength and embodying resilience and dedication to positive change and youth empowerment.

Arif Voraji

Help the Homeless Leicester

Transforming lives through relief efforts and empowerment for the homeless and rough sleepers in the city.

Help The Homeless Leicester, initiated by Arif Voraji in November 2014 with a simple act of kindness, has evolved into a dynamic charity dedicated to supporting those in need. Starting with distributing 14 pairs of jeans, the charity has grown to clothe and feed thousands, aid families with essentials, support flood victims across the UK, and advocate for accommodations, securing homes for many individuals. Through delivering essentials, hot food to those isolating or affected by panic buying, and maintaining an ongoing food parcel service, HTH demonstrates a commitment to adapting and addressing the immediate needs of the vulnerable, earning Arif the “Hero of Leicestershire 2020” award.

Arif Voraji, the founder of Help The Homeless Leicester, transformed his inspiration into impactful action. Beginning with distributing clothing from his car, Arif’s dedication has directly improved lives through clothing, feeding, and securing housing for those in need, showcasing the power of community and compassion in tackling homelessness.

Hassan Ali Patel

Leicester Community Services (CIC)

Leicester Community Services (CIC)
Integrating Communities
“A Better Future for A Better Society.”

Leicester Community Services CIC (LCS) is driven by a vision of a society where everyone has access to effective support services that enhance their capacity to improve their lives and make a positive community contribution. Founded on the principles of good governance, LCS is dedicated to providing high-quality, team-centered, and person-centered services that empower individuals to manage their own lives and health proactively.

Our mission, “Integrating communities for a Better Future, a Better Society,” is supported by our values of delivering quality social, safety, educational, and wellness services, and continually improving through robust monitoring, evaluation, and user feedback. We focus on reducing loneliness through our Day Centre offerings and enhancing the ability of our service users to self-manage their health and wellbeing.

LCS plays a crucial role in the community by providing resources and support across a wide range of areas. We aim to:

Enhance self-management skills and health awareness.
Support informed decision-making for all aspects of life.
Increase access to local and regional resources and services.
Strengthen social networks and community support.
Promote positive health outcomes through participation in events and activities.
We also emphasize the importance of cultural competency, ensuring our services are inclusive and accessible to diverse populations. From supporting the youth and elderly to aiding refugees and asylum seekers, LCS is committed to fostering an environment of care, compassion, and commitment. Our strategic objectives include providing high-quality health and safety services, promoting well-being through various programs, and ensuring all team members are skilled and well-trained.

Kamala Wisdom

Sensational Vibes

Kamala Wisdom is a seasoned youth and community development practitioner with over a
decade of dedicated experience in the field. Graduating from Demonfort University in 2015
with a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Development, Kamala has honed her skills and
knowledge to effectively support the holistic growth and empowerment of young individuals.

As the CEO of Sensational Vibes, a vibrant youth and community development group, as
well as the driving force behind Sensational Vibes Carnival troupe, Kamala leads initiatives
that foster positivity, creativity, and opportunity for young people. Her commitment to uplifting
the next generation is unwavering, and she tirelessly works towards making a tangible,
lasting impact within her community.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Kamala finds joy in her family and cherishes the
moments spent empowering young minds to thrive. In her leisure time, she indulges in
activities that nourish her spirit, such as keeping fit, singing, dancing, and relishing quality
time with friends and loved ones. Kamala Wisdom epitomizes dedication, compassion, and
the drive to create meaningful change.

Sav Vaid

Go Getta CIC

Go-Getta CIC is an award winning and leading provider of youth work, alternative education and young peoples projects in Leicestershire. Founded in 2012, the organisation is a dynamic force in Charnwood, with reach throughout Leicester City and the County. Born out of a response to cuts in statutory youth services, Go-Getta is driven by the mission to provide safe spaces, opportunities, support and positive role models to young people. The organisation specifically targets underserved and disadvantaged communities where young people are disproportionately affected by anti-social behaviour, criminality and social issues. Go-Getta provides young people with access to high quality, therapeutic youth work where staff are dedicated to supporting young people to realise their full potential.

Savita Vaid is the founder and Managing Director of Go-Getta CIC. She kickstarted her career in delivering music and media projects with young people ‘at risk’ of gun and knife crime in West London. Relocating to Leicester in 2011, she went on to work within the public sector with careleavers and looked after children, followed by managing a local authority project providing employability support to young people furthest away from the labour market. A former foster carer, Savita utilises her lived experience in her role as a Trainer; devising and delivering bespoke training on issues impacting children affected by trauma. She has a vested interest in shaping services to reach and support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in society.

Sim Seema Mistry

Kala Arts CIC / Phoenix- Community Outreach Officer/ Drum and Brass Community Engagement Director/ Art and Design Teacher/ Multidisciplinary Artist

Kala Arts CIC, a Community Interest Company established in March 2023 and based in Leicester, champions the transformative power of art to connect and enrich communities. Dedicated to removing barriers to artistic engagement, Kala Arts offers programs that inspire and empower individuals from diverse backgrounds. Through collaborative projects, community members co-create, learn transferable skills, and foster cohesion. By generating safe, inclusive spaces, Kala Arts facilitates a creative exploration that strengthens community bonds and enhances the quality of life, embodying the belief that art is a unifying force capable of changing lives. Sim Seema Mistry, founder and director of Kala Arts, is a British, Kenyan, South-Asian multidisciplinary community artist with a rich teaching background. Her approach is trauma-informed and youth-centered, utilising a variety of mediums to foster co-creation and exploration in art, free from the pressures of progress. Passionate about environmental stewardship, Sim is dedicated to sharing her creative enthusiasm with individuals from all walks of life, making art accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

As the Community Outreach Officer at Phoenix, Work in collaboration with external curators and the creative team to engage audiences from diverse backgrounds, mirroring the rich diversity of Leicester. Our goal is to dismantle existing barriers that hinder a wider audience from accessing and enjoying arthouse cinema and the arts.
Our mission is to maximise the exposure of global cinema, ensuring it is accessible to all individuals within our community.

Drum and Brass CIC offers affordable music lessons in the heart of the city. The vision is to make music-making accessible to everyone. Working collaboratively with the Leicester Music Hub and the LSO to deliver high-quality, affordable music lessons. Additionally, Drum and Brass hosts a global majority community orchestra that collaboratively creates music for performances.

Teacher of Art and Design- Secondary school aged 11-16

Commission and freelance Multidisciplinary Artist

Mezmin Malida

Wesley hall/ - Watergates Associates / Care to Feed / Midland Langar Seva Society

Mez is a passionate and dedicated community leader with over ten years of experience specialising in leadership, program development, community engagement, and advocacy. She is dedicated to developing and implementing impactful programs and empowering individuals and communities towards achieving social justice. Mezmin is building relationships with community stakeholders, securing resources through successful fundraising, and advocating for the needs of vulnerable populations.

Harvinder Poonian

HKP Marketing

Elevating Charities and Non-Profits with Purpose-Driven Digital Marketing.

HKP Marketing is a community marketing agency dedicated to amplifying the impact of grassroots local charities through strategic marketing solutions. Specialising in content creation, strategy development, and social media management, HKP Marketing tailors its services to enhance the visibility and outreach of non-profit organisations. With a passionate team committed to helping charities effectively communicate their messages and reach broader audiences. Founded by Community Leader Harvinder Poonian, who has also co-founded Working Wednesdays,” a networking initiative designed to support the community sector by providing a collaborative platform for creativity and partnership.

Tsitsi Magidi

Sue Young Cancer Charity

Dr. Tsitsi Magidi, also known as Tsitsi in her local community, joined the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme (ICV) in 2018, where community volunteers inspect police custody conditions to ensure the humane treatment and rights of detainees. A passionate advocate for race equality, Tsile challenges organisations to adhere to the Equality Act 2010. Her goals in the ICV include enhancing diversity and ensuring fair treatment for all, especially individuals from ethnic minorities. With a background in Social Work and a Doctorate in Psychology, Tsile works as a Child Care Practitioner and a counselor for cancer patients. Proactive in her ICV role, she has initiated key improvements like translation services for African languages, demonstrating leadership and commitment to community service.