Mill Road Made Me: Mill Road Saved Me

By Shofiq Uddin

The story I have for you is about the power and strength of Mill Road,
for the independent Mill Road News to enjoy and potentially print.

Website editor’s note: This story is too great, too uplifting, to keep under wraps until the next (post-lockdown) printed edition.

Five years ago I had a horrendous motorbike accident, leaving me with severe head injuries. After being discharged from hospital, I was in emergency accommodation for year. Whilst I was extremely grateful for the accommodation, it was a difficult place to try to rehabilitate. I needed rehousing…

But … Big but … I’m suffering a brain injury after a motorcycle accident also an addiction from my historical past.

It all started with Donna Linsey, Tenancy Sustainment Advisor for Cambridge City Council who, herself, had previously sustained a motorcycle accident and had since worked for Headway. Because of her experience she understood my needs. I have so much to thank her for.

Website editors’ note:
The City Council’s Tenancy Sustainment service supports tenants aged 18 or over whose tenancy is (or could be) at risk due to mental health issues, local antisocial behaviour, a history of homelessness, or other complex support needs.
Click for more information on Cambridge City Council’s Tenancy Sustainment service, contact Matt Siggery, Housing Officer, Tenancy Sustainment, at matthew.siggery@cambridge.gov.uk or phone 07540 303194.

The City Council could have given me a flat anywhere, but they gave me a flat at end of Mill Road.

Mill Road? What’s in the area? … Who cares? I wanna flat I wanna get outta emergency accommodation… And it turned out to be the best place ever!

What do I see everyday? Brookfields Hospital. What’s there ?

ECHIS … Evelyn Community Head Injury Service for brain injury, at Davison House, Brookfields Hospital, Mill Road, Cambridge. Wow.

Change Grow Live (Social Care & Health Charity‎, Mill House, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3DF) and the Edge Café …. Big brother and little sister drug addiction services. Wow.

You can call Change Grow Live, Cambridge, on 0300 555 0101 or email cambridgeshirereferrals@cgl.org.uk.
View of The Edge Café linked from their website.

And then the Cambridge Central Mosque was built. Wow.

“Islamic civilization has been based on the rejection of waste as an underestimation of God’s blessing, and so in the construction of the new mosque here in Cambridge, we were very much at the forefront of the local environmental movement.” – Abdal Hakim Murad

Everything to recover is on my doorstep. Addiction is confronted and responsibility is owned, but still it’s a journey of recovery and now I work as a peer mentor volunteer at THE EDGE CAFÉ interviewed and trained by Change Grow Live.

Shofiq Uddin at The Edge Café in Mill Road, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. Linked from the Cambridge Independent website.

From Cambridge drug dealer to healer: How Shofiq Uddin got his life back on track

My brain injury status is that I’m coping now and living an independent life thanks to the team of ECHIS.

The community at the new beautiful Cambridge Central Mosque has helped me with returning back to my Muslim identity. I know who I am now, and Prayer Leader Imam Hafiz Dr Sejad Mekić has been a tremendous inspiration to everyone who enters in the incredible mosque and me.

Hafiz Dr Sejad Mekić linked from the Cambridge Central Mosque website

I now help run a youth club – which I went to as a child – for Asian Muslim youth on the street where I grew up.

We are now working with Romsey Mill Christian charity to bridge the gap between Muslim and Christian children.

And potentially will run a creative writing class for Riverside‘s Willow Walk adult shelter (near the Grafton Centre) and The EDGE Café on Mill Road.

I’m planning a 5-a-side multi-faith tournament with the help of Cambridge United Community Trust and Cambridge City Council’s Ariadne Henry – Community Development Officer (Inclusion and Engagement) – Romsey Mill and hopefully more networkers. I am also hoping to persuade Muslim restaurateurs to provide food.

For more information on participating in or supporting any of of Cambridge United Community Trust‘s activities please email communitytrust@cambridge-united.co.uk or call 01223 632129.

There is so much else I’m doing, but I’m committed to making time for this .

Mill Road has the power to help me return back to who I truly am and to where I belong. My message is to shout it out!

Mill Road has power to change lives and beautifully too!

Born on Mill Road: saved by Mill Road.

MILL RD MADE ME: MILL RD SAVED ME!

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Edward Lloyd Jenkins
Edward Lloyd Jenkins
Guest
13 April 2020 17:09

I particularly like the promise of working to bring Christian and Muslim children together, hopefully the propossed Community Centre on the oid Depot Site will help further this with a whole, wide range of ages in intergroup groups.. groups.

Shofiq jamal uddin
Shofiq jamal uddin
Guest
Reply to  Edward Lloyd Jenkins
15 April 2020 08:00

Please give me more info on old depot site and I will raise my awareness more about how I can fit in. Please help, many thanks.

Edward Lloyd Jenkins
Edward Lloyd Jenkins
Guest
Reply to  Shofiq jamal uddin
15 April 2020 11:00

The proposed Community Hub at the Old Depot Site will not be completed nor up and running much before Sept/Oct, 21 so planning discussionsabout usage will probably not begin until next year!
In meantime I suggest you make contact with the Management of Romsey Mill, Hemingford Road, Cambridge. 01223 213162. who will jointly run the Community (Hub) Centre when it eventually opens.