As part of the Health Promotion module on the MSc Physiotherapy pre-registration programme, some of our students visited the Glasgow Mosque in February to start working with a group of elderly women who come to the Mosque for day care to get a meal, social contact and to do activities. We were approached by the Mosque last year to find out if our students could develop some activities for this group.
This is a reflection written by the group on their experience of going into the Mosque to meet the women.
“When we initially found out that we were going to the mosque, we had mixed feelings on the idea as we were the only group who were unable to ‘bid’ for their desired community group.
However, this gave us a head start on our background research which we were keen to begin as our knowledge surrounding the community was limited. As time moved on, our nerves kicked in with fear of the unknown as we had never been immersed within the Muslim community, and it was the first time the university were working with this group, meaning we knew little about the situation. Thus, being coupled with the fact that they potentially spoke minimal English, we decided to attend an open day. We went on a tour of the mosque, which gave us a chance to view the prayer rooms and talk to some of the members, which was extremely interesting.
On route to the mosque on the day of the meeting with baked goods in hand, anxiety levels were still high. There had been a lot of backward and forward as to the age group we were dealing with, which was unknown. We had a presentation with information and questions that we knew could only be a guideline as we had no idea what to expect during the meeting. However, any lingering anxiety lifted almost instantaneously upon arrival to the group of women.
The women were very welcoming, and very willing to interact with us throughout. At first, they were struggling to understand us, however this was promptly acted on and as a result we were engaging effectively in an informal sense, whilst still collating the necessary information. Having attained background information helped, and as we got to know each other we moved closer to them as a group for a more intimate chat. They were very enthusiastic at how much we wanted to learn from them, and the idea that we could effectively help them too.
We feel strongly that they are looking forward to us coming back. Going forward, we are all equally excited to return to the mosque and work with them further in helping them produce a program that can hopefully be used long after completion of our module.
Having been taken out of our comfort zone and challenged to approach and communicate with a new community, and do so successfully, has given us a new confidence. It has also allowed us to build on our current skillset including adaptability, a skill that we can take forward through our physiotherapy careers.”
Katie, Julia, Kaylie, Kelly and Amy