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Monday, June 27, 2022

Huddersfield faith leader becomes first female Muslim to land senior chaplaincy role at a Yorkshire hospital trust

A faith leader from Huddersfield has become the first female Muslim chaplaincy lead at a Yorkshire hospital trust.

A female faith leader from Huddersfield has been announced as a senior chaplaincy role at a Yorkshire hospital trust.

Maysoon Shafiq, 36, has become the first female Muslim Chaplain team leader for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Mrs Shafiq is the founder and director of Al Mu’Minun (The Believers), a non-profit organisation dedicated to educating the public about the teachings of Islam.

An award-winning community activist, she holds events, seminars, and conferences in West Yorkshire and across the UK for both Muslim and non-Muslim members of the community to fill the gaps of knowledge surrounding the religion.

Mrs Shafiq is the first female Muslim Chaplain team leader for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Mrs Shafiq will be starting in the role on 23 May which she “honestly cannot wait” for.

Mrs Shafiq said: “I am humbled, grateful, and feeling blessed and totally in shock to have been selected for this role. When I was invited for the interview, I was ecstatic and was given a week to prepare.

“As part of my interview, I had to undergo a presentation to the stakeholders which lasted thirty minutes and then I had an interview back-to-back with a panel of four senior members of the trust which consisted of a further presentation and questions asked by each member of the panel lasting almost an hour.

“I remember feeling anxious leading up to the day of my interview because I was fully aware and knew the responsibility the role would bring. On the day of my interview, I just sat reciting the Qur’an for an hour to calm my nerves down before my interview.

“I received the call on the same day to inform me that I had been offered the position and I just went into shock and didn’t know how to react or what to do.

“I just kept thanking Allah and making prayers that he keeps me humble and allows me to serve those of faith and no faith to the best of my ability and allows me to serve with honesty and integrity which are integral rules closest to Islam.”

Maysoon Shafiq won Religious Advocate of the Year at the British Muslim Awards earlier this year.

Mrs Shafiq added: “I have always advocated the rights of women and so this position will allow other female Muslims who are maybe nervous or shy from making such applications to see me as someone who is paving the way for them.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s busiest and most successful providers of hospital and community-based healthcare. With a turnover of £1 billion and around two million patient contacts, the trust provides a comprehensive range of local services, employing over 17,000 staff who provide outstanding services and boats a team of 750 committed and enthusiastic volunteers.

“I have always advocated the rights of women and so this position will allow other female Muslims who are maybe nervous or shy from making such applications to see me as someone who is paving the way for them.”

The Chaplaincy Department is responsible for facilitating the spiritual, pastoral and religious care of patients, staff, students and visitors to the trust, providing specialist knowledge and expertise in matters relating to spiritual and religious beliefs, experiences and practices at all levels in the Trust.

Speaking about the role, Mrs Shafiq said: “My role will involve providing spiritual, pastoral and religious care to meet the needs of patients, staff, students and visitors of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Mrs Shafiq will start her new role next week.

“I have the responsibility for my own caseload of patients and clients with wide-ranging and complex spiritual, pastoral and religious needs in addition to this I will line manage the Chaplains from all faiths and denominations and deputise the Chaplaincy Manager.

“There are five hospitals in Sheffield and I may be required to work across sites. I will also contribute to the leadership of quality, particularly safe practice and governance, research, service review and audit.”

Mrs Shafiq, who is the founder and director of a non-profit organisation dedicated to educating the public about the teachings of Islam said she will find a way to fit her family life and voluntary work around her new job.

She said: “My family and friends know me to be a ‘busy body’ as I am always finding ways in which I can earn a little few deeds to present in my Lord’s court on the Day when we will all be held accountable and so I have always felt and truly believe that I am not here in this world to rest.

“My goal in life is to do as much as possible to ensure the best outcome on results day.”

Lindsay van Dijk, Head of Chaplaincy at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very proud to have a multi-faith chaplaincy team and we are very much looking forward to welcoming Mrs Shafiq.

“She has extensive experience both within healthcare and the community, providing pastoral, spiritual and religious support to those of all faiths and beliefs. Her knowledge and skills will be a great asset to our chaplaincy team and the work we do with patients, staff and the community.”

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