Our team

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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 dedicated humanitarian with over 15 years in the charity sector. She is currently working for a Street Support Network, a Manchester-based charity connecting and supporting local people and organisations to tackle homelessness. 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

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 trained as a Ride Leader and still supports our Waltham Forest group rides.

Khadijah graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford and then worked for the government's healthcare regulator for six years. Following this she went on to become Head of Fundraising at Muslim Youth Helpline. In 2018 she trained to be a National Standards 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’.

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

 

Zainab has spent the past 4 years as Chief Financial Officer for a Community Interest Company based in Tower Hamlets which specialises in delivering primary and community health care for local residents. Over the past 4 years the organisation has grown under Zainab’s financial stewardship and remains one of the largest primary care providers within the UK. 

 

Having recently re-found their 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 as the Treasurer.  

Samra Said
Chair

Khadijah Zaidi

Secretary

Zainab Arian
Treasurer

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 
Founder & CEO

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 a National Standards Cycle Instructor and has been recognised in the ‘100 Women in Cycling List’ 2018, as one of 50 people in the Lucozade Sports inaugural Movers List, the winner of Cycling UK’s ‘Exceptional Individual in  a Cycling Programme’ award in 2019 and the winner of the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ in the Women’s Cycling Awards 2020.

 

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.  

Emma Pajarillaga

Director of Operations

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 peddle!  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 running active travel projects and was acknowledged in the ‘100 Women in Cycling List’ 2019

Sabeha Miah

Tower Hamlets Project Manager

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.

Seema was first taught to cycle at a young age, and loved cycling around the block. However, school, university and work got in the way and Seema didn’t think about cycling again until she watched her children learn. 

 

Seema came across Cycle Sisters and after her first ride was hooked. Now she is a Waltham Forest Ride Leader, has a key role in the Waltham Forest Committee and is our Teen Bikers Coordinator - leading on projects to encourage more teenage Muslim girls to cycle.  She is currently training to be a Cycling Instructor, and was acknowledged in the ‘100 Women in Cycling List’ 2020 for her contributions to cycling.

 

Seema’s previous roles have included being a Microbiologist for the NHS and working in a local school as a Teaching Assistant.

Seema Vawda
Teen Bikers Coordinator