Whitley Bay Islamic Cultural Centre

Misbah Hannan (Chairman), Dr Lorraine McSweeney, Dr. Charlotte Rothwell

The collaboration between Whitley Bay Islamic Centre, Newcastle University, and Oxford University in an Adult Weight Management Services (AWMS) study delved deeper into the barriers faced in delivering successful weight management programs. During an insightful interview, representatives from the centre emphasised the importance of tailoring the program to the audience, planning in advance, and building a rapport with participants to ensure impactful results. Dr. Charlotte Rothwell and Dr. Lorraine McSweeney visited the centre, gathering valuable insights to shape future projects.

The Whitley Bay Islamic Centre was honoured to be part of the study and eagerly shared their experiences during the interview. They expressed their appreciation for the visit by Dr. Rothwell and Dr. McSweeney, recognising their expertise and valuable contributions to the research project. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge, discuss challenges, and explore innovative approaches to adult weight management.

Central to the discussion was the recognition that cultural and lifestyle differences necessitate tailored approaches. Whitley Bay Islamic Centre’s Body Benefits Programme, targeted specifically at the BAME community, acknowledged the distinctive dietary and lifestyle practices that differ from a typical British-born lifestyle. By understanding these nuances, the program was designed to accommodate factors such as alcohol-free environments and culturally diverse dietary preferences, facilitating a more inclusive and effective weight management journey.

Planning played a pivotal role in the success of the initiatives discussed. Whitley Bay Islamic Centre stressed the importance of meticulously organising programs well ahead of implementation. This involved identifying suitable exercise options, securing appropriate facilities, and coordinating with expert instructors who could adapt to the community’s unique needs. By investing time and effort in careful planning, the centre ensured that their initiatives were well-executed, maximising participation and overall engagement.

Building a rapport with participants emerged as a fundamental aspect of the centre’s approach. Whitley Bay Islamic Centre recognised the significance of establishing a personal connection with individuals embarking on their weight management journeys. By investing time in understanding their unique challenges, concerns, and aspirations, the centre fostered a sense of trust and support. This rapport-building process created a safe space where participants felt empowered and motivated to achieve their health and wellness goals.

Representatives from the Whitley Bay Islamic Centre shared their involvement in various initiatives aimed at enhancing physical well-being and weight management within their community. Their contributions included the Body Benefits Programme, Women’s Swimming Sessions, Kickboxing Club, Women’s HIIT Exercise Classes, and the introduction of a new gym facility.

By actively participating in this study and sharing their experiences, the Whitley Bay Islamic Centre serves as an exemplary model for promoting health awareness and fostering a vibrant, active community. Their dedication to improving the well-being of individuals is set to inspire and empower many others on their journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

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