Meet the Team: Shgufta
Name: Shgufta Anwar
Job title: Active Travel and South Hub Lead
What is your background? Where did you grow up and how did you come to be in this role?
I was born in Huddersfield but luckily moved to Glasgow before my first birthday and grew up in Wishaw and Motherwell.
I started my career in the retail and motor industry and worked my way through the private, public, and most recently, the charity sector. My role prior to Bike for Good was as a Climate Change Project Manager for a local charity for Muslim women and children, Al-Meezan. I took this role as a stopgap whilst I figured out what to do whilst my girls were young.
Then, I read a book that changed my life – “199 Ways to Please God” by Rianne C. ten Veen. I thought this was a religious book and it was in a sense, but it made me realise that working towards counteracting climate change and having green principles in my faith were the one and the same.
This role led me to find Bike for Good, who I was massively inspired by. I loved promoting cycling in my previous role so launching a new cycling hub in the heart of Govanhill seemed an ideal role for me, and I haven’t looked back since.
What does your role at Bike for Good involve?
Leading a team who are responsible for getting people out of cars and onto a bike, the Active Travel team. I also lead the South Hub team to support an extremely diverse community with all their cycling needs.
What has been a career highlight for you in your life so far?
Launching the South Hub within 3 weeks of starting my role at Bike for Good and having the (then) Transport Minister open and endorse our work.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Muhammed (PBUH) who came more than 1400 years ago, and changed the world. And Salma Shaikh, the founder of Al-Meezan who changed the religious education provision for Muslim women and kids in Glasgow, who recently passed away recently after decades of amazing work.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Cycling, getting out into nature with one nature-averse and one nature-loving child, cooking (which involves getting as many vegetables as possible into my family – 9 veg in one dish is my current benchmark), chilling out, socialising, reading and being a digital tyrant!
What is something you would like people to know about cycling?
You never forget it, no matter how many decades it has been!
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Do you do any volunteering? Are there any other causes or charities you would like to highlight?
I have previously worked and volunteered for Al-Meezan who I mentioned previousl. I am passionate about learning about my faith and have studied it for 5 years through the Isyllabus programme. Currently I am volunteering for Brilliant Bartering Glasgow, I love a good barter. Also, I am now about to start teaching a young adults Isyllabus for Schools class.
Thanks to Shgufta, for always seeming to be a million places and doing a million things at once, always with that big grin on her face.