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Our team

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Samra Said
Chair

Samra first learned to cycle in 2010 teaching herself by cycling around Hyde Park.   Following a knee injury a few years later, she was advised to take up regular cycling as part of her recovery.  She bought her first ever bike in 2014 after deciding to take part in a relay team for a 70 mile challenge called Tour De Salah.  Samra is now a keen cyclist who commutes around West London by bike, cycling with a local group most weekends or on solo adventures to discover her local area.  

Alongside her role at Cycle Sisters, Samra is a Senior Producer for Arts & Homelessness International, a charity that works to bring positive political change to people, projects and policy in homelessness, through arts and creatively. Samra has brought her expertise in fundraising, strategy and communications to the Board of Cycle Sisters advising the team as well as coordinating our Cycle Sisters Hounslow group.  

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Raiyhana Noorgat
Treasurer

Raiyhana is a practising financial accountant holding dual certification with the Institute of Financial Accountants (AFA AFTA), having trained as a management accountant.  Her finance-oriented career covers both public and private sector and she has worked overseas.  For the past seven years she has successfully started-up and grown her franchise accountancy practice which supports local businesses with compliance.

Learning cycling as an adult, Raiyhana is thankful to her spouse who painstakingly taught her to balance, then pedal, not long after they wed.  She rode only with her family for many years, until she joined a Cycle Sisters ride in 2021.  The inclusiveness, camaraderie and support inspired Raiyhana and she felt compelled to train as a Ride Leader in 2023 to help empower others.  Soon after, she joined as the Treasurer on the Board.  

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Zainab Arian
Secretary

Zainab is the Chief Executive Officer of a Community Interest Company based in Tower Hamlets which specialises in delivering primary and community health care for local residents and is one of the largest primary care providers within the UK. 

Zainab is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) with over 10 years of experience spanning across both private and public sector organisations. 

 

Having rediscovered her love for cycling, Zainab participated in a women’s cycle event which had a number of Cycle Sisters participating. Inspired by their stories and the work Cycle Sisters has done to engage and promote cycling to a wider Muslim audience, Zainab joined the Board.  

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Carolyn Axtell
Marketing & Communications Trustee

 

Carolyn works for the charity We Are Possible as London Car Free Campaigner and is founder of JoyRiders London. In her roles as a cycling instructor and ride leader, she has supported hundreds of women from diverse and Muslim communities into cycling.

 

She has collaborated with Cycle Sisters since the early days and as Marketing and Communications Trustee will be helping Cycle Sisters to positively impact the lives of many more Muslim women by helping us reach more people.

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Sarah Javaid MBE
Founder, Programmes & Partnerships Lead

Sarah started Cycle Sisters in 2016 after not finding any cycle groups she could identify with when trying to get back into cycling as an adult.  Realising how a safe and supportive space that met the needs of Muslim women would have helped her, she set out to start a group of her own.   

 

Sarah went on to train as a Ride Leader and Cycle Instructor and her work was recognised with an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours List 2023.  

 

Prior to Cycle Sisters, Sarah has held leadership roles in the charity sector for over 10 years including co-founding and leading a Muslim youth charity.  Her experience includes organisational strategy, programme development and fundraising.  

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Emma Pajarillaga
Operations Lead

Emma was one of Cycle Sisters’ first participants and hadn’t ridden a bike since she was a teenager when she joined her first ride back in 2016. It was love at first pedal!  Emma quickly went on to buy a bike and then trained as one of Cycle Sisters' first Ride Leaders for our Waltham Forest group.  

 

Emma has worked in the charity sector for the past 12 years where she has gained a broad range of experience in project management and volunteer management. She brings this expertise to her role at Cycle Sisters where she oversees the charity’s day to day operations. She currently also works part time at a local community organisation in Waltham Forest and was acknowledged in the ‘100 Women in Cycling List’ 2019

Sabeha Miah
Project Coordinator

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Sabeha learned to ride as a child and stopped as she became a teen. She got back into cycling 35 years later during lockdown, and absolutely enjoyed the freedom of being on a bicycle and exploring new parts of London that she never realised existed…all while also increasing health and wellbeing and really discovering how fantastic cycling is!

 

In addition to her Cycle Sisters role, Sabeha has been working in the charity sector for over 16 years. She manages, develops and delivers services for BAME women to overcome multiple barriers, exclusion and social isolation in East London. She is also an entrepreneur and co-founded an award-winning social enterprise, which trains and employs BAME women, providing empowering, meaningful and well-paid work.

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Khadijah Zaidi 

Book-keeper

Khadijah started cycling when she was five, having taught herself in the family living room! She commuted by bike during her university days in Oxford, but stopped when she moved back to London.  Khadijah joined Cycle Sisters and within a couple of months she was cycling everywhere, all the time! 

 

Khadijah graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford and currently works in research for the House of Commons Library.  She's trained as a Ride Leader and Cycling Instructor and was acknowledged in the ‘100 Women in Cycling List’ 2019. She also started a personal blog and instagram ‘Cycle and Jam’ with advice about cycling on many subjects including ‘Cycling in Islamic dress’. 

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