2024. Sandy Kaur
Sandy Kaur, from Bedford, founded ‘Sikh Forgiveness’ in 2018 to break down stigma around mental health within both Punjabi and South Asian communities.
Backed by a nationwide team of volunteers, Sandy works closely with Universities and Gurdwaras to improve access to wellbeing support and identify resources and ways to overcome language barriers. ‘Sikh Forgiveness’ runs a weekly blog and podcast in English, Punjabi and Urdu, and has run regular workshops, such as a “Chit Chat and Chaa” group for women and a dedicated “LuMENosity” support service for men to discuss mental health.
In a personal letter to Sandy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I want to thank you for all that you are doing to help break down the stigma around mental health within our Sikh and Punjabi communities.
“From your podcasts in English, Urdu and Punjabi to your close working with Universities and Gurdwaras across the country, you are improving people’s access to wellbeing support. Through programmes like your “LuMENosity” support service for men and your Female Forums you are creating safe spaces for people to talk about their experiences.”
“I am completely speechless and surprised at receiving the point of light award, I am thankful to the community for trusting me with their stories and feeling safe with me to share their struggles. Thank you to my family, who support me with my passion for Mental Health and Community, as I believe in my Sikh Teachings of providing a Seva (selfless service to Humanity). I started Sikh Forgiveness almost five years ago and it is the base layer of Sehhat, a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention organisation, where we provide a support to the Punjabi and South Asian community to seek help with their mental health and well-being. We do this with education, awareness and resources. I volunteer my time to people, so others don’t feel alone and I hope to continue to make changes to Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.”
See more about ‘Sikh Forgiveness’