As the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, it has been my pleasure and privilege over a number of years to work with Sofia Mahmood MBE.

Operating at both a national and local level, Sofia has consistently brought passion, drive and knowledge to various strands of work. This has included strategy and policy development as well as tailor made development opportunities and tools for practitioners

Sofia has been instrumental in a range of different projects across Bradford. This has included providing external challenge and being a critical friend in the development of our Bradford Police Inequalities Plan, supporting the introduction of the Inclusive, Equal and Diverse Workforce Training programme.

As Vice Chair of the Bradford All Age Exploitation Group, Sofia has played a key role in the development of the City’s first Exploitation Strategy and Delivery Plan. She is also working closely with senior police colleagues to inform our forcewide approach to tackling violence against women and girls.
I have no hesitation in highlighting the positive contribution that Sofia continues to make and thanking her for her tremendous impact.

John Robins QPM DL

Chief Constable West Yorkshire Police

Empowering Minds is a highly regarded organisation at the heart of our work for a prosperous Bradford District. The quality of their work is superb. They are inclusive in all that they do, building strong trusting relationships between people of diverse community backgrounds and facilitating discussion of sensitive complex issues. People, organisations and communities grow in confidence and understanding through contact with Empowering Minds. The organisation is energetic, positive and ambitious for the people of Bradford District.  

Kersten England CBE

Sofia has played an important role in opening up conversations on issues pertinent to Prevent with communities.  Her approach has enabled open and honest discussions that have led to better understanding and dialogue between communities, ultimately leading to more resilient communities that are able to refute extremist narratives. Sofia should be applauded for her commitment to building bridges between people from different backgrounds, the value of her work should not be underestimated.


Chris Clapham

Home Office, Head Prevent Areas North & Wales

I am struck with the depth of knowledge, expertise and passion that Empowering Minds brings to their work, this is evident in the delivery of material which is often controversial and needs to be sensitively conveyed.  It is clear that they are a deeply trusted organisation, with an impeccable reputation for mediating difficult and challenging issues, providing support, advice and guidance for leaders on equality, equity and social justice. 

Zahra Niazi Strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Wellbeing Board Office of the Chief Executive

A big thank you the Empowering Minds Team for delivering a workshop at our annual locality safeguarding event to over 50 frontline practitioners supporting children and young people across Greater Manchester.

The discussions were thought provoking equipping staff to be professionally curious and taking a 360 degree approach to the subject.

Thank you for facilitating and nurturing these valuable conversations in a way which is informative, balanced and relatable. 

Yasmin Hanif

Assistant Director Children’s Services, Greater Manchester Locality

I have worked alongside Empowering Minds on a number of projects and have always found them to be extremely professional, thorough and a pleasure to collaborate with. As someone not local to Bradford, the organisation was welcoming and kind in addition to supporting the work to be undertaken. No task requested was too large or small. Further, Sofia's passion is evident in every task she does and Empowering minds is a credit to her and her desire to affect change.

Dr Sarah Senker

Chartered Psychologist, PhD in Health Studies, ATD Research and Consultancy Ltd

We have worked in partnership with Empowering Minds Consultancy on a variety of projects and activities, all of which have been enhanced by the staff’s professionalism and passion for equality and inclusion.  Most recently, Race Equality Network co-designed an Equality Training package for VCSE organisations which we commissioned Sofia Mahmood at Empowering Minds to facilitate. Sofia was engaging, passionate and demonstrated a vast depth of knowledge in the field. The feedback from participants about the training was excellent and we are grateful to Empowering Minds to sharing their expertise.

Humma Nizami

Executive Director, Race Equality Network

Empowering Minds have provided us with excellent services for us in relation to training staff on different aspects of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Their passion for the subjects always shines through in the delivery and her knowledge is unsurpassed. Empowering Minds’ contribution the RESPECT Allyship Programme has supported staff to excel in championing inclusive practices and gain a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Allyship and raises awareness of the intersectionality’s of the different communities within Bradford, a powerhouse of knowledge in the EDI arena!” 

  Jody Leach

Senior Intelligence Analyst (Governance & Platforms) Knowledge & Information Team People Commissioning & Business Suppor

Thank you so much for delivering the workshop on presenting at the Black Workers Conference in Bradford last week. I attended that workshop and like the other delegates who came to it, I found it extremely informative and thought-provoking. ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ was inspirational and great fun with a serious message. I appreciate the time that goes into organizing such presentations so again many thanks for your contribution to a successful conference.

Neera Sharma- Assistant Director, Policy and Research

Barnardo’s 11th National Black Workers and Volunteers Conference

Excellent strategic knowledge of facilitator. Sofia is very knowledgeable. Some good thought-provoking stuff around hate crime which I’ll use in workshops. I enjoyed the subject matter. It was great to get an insight from across the region and understanding the complexity of the issues.

Strategic approach to Hate Crime and Islamophobia

Practitioners Youth work Unit Yorkshire and Humberside

The package was excellently delivered. Sofia was clear, concise and it is clear she is the subject matter expert. Her delivery was confident, and she had the classroom fully engaged. She tackled difficult topics which caused the audience to shuffle uncomfortably within their seats however it opened up a two-way dialogue into an honest, open and frank debate. She was not fazed or derailed by any question that she was asked. Sofia did an outstanding job if exploring bias and stereotypes and the presentation was very thought-provoking and more importantly relevant. The use of additional supporting teaching methods helped to engage and bring what potentially could be a boring subject. It was thoroughly enjoyable, brilliantly delivered and very well worthwhile, thank you.

WYP Staff training school

Sofia has been brilliant to work with and the Girls Leadership and Safety Programme she developed for the Cardiff Prevent Team has had many positive reviews from Teachers, participants and parents. I would not hesitate to recommend Empowering Minds to anyone working in the Prevent and Cohesion world as I have found Sofia and her team to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic  and engaging. 

Steph Kendrick-Doyle

Operational Manager for Prevent, Cardiff Council   

It was wonderful working with a professional and passionate team who share an interest in supporting the local economy.  We recently delivered a workshop for the Future Way's programme and we were highly impressed by the highly organised, supportive and committed staff. 

Yasmin Dar

Positive Echo Yorkshire Ltd

Informative. Could have listened to Sofia for much longer. Very, very interesting. Liked the game and the definitions challenge. Engaging presentation. Dealt with what could have potentially been a controversial topic well, without shying away from problematic areas.

Sofia came across as a very approachable individual. 

Youth Work and Social Services Staff

Hull University

Evaluation for the Empowering Minds presentation was exceedingly positive and filled with superlatives from participants expressing praise for the key-note speaker and the content of the session.

The Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and Humber is a regional infrastructure organization and therefore the audience for our conference consisted of delegates from across our region and represented all levels of the sector from academics, managers, representatives from national and regional voluntary sector organizations and those engaged in direct delivery.

Sofia possesses a unique combination of skills and knowledge, which we have really come to appreciate in the intervening period. These spring from her ability to work with a very wide range of organizations and individuals from a number of different and diverse professional disciplines at all levels, from those who develop high-level strategies to practitioners.

Empowering Minds is frequently called on as the “Go to” organization to respond to national news developments by the media when they need an authoritative voice concerning particular issues.

Patrick Ambrose- Resource Director

Youth Work Unit

Hello Sofia. My testimonial for the Mothers Against Grooming and Radicalisation course that you ran is as follows:
Everyone who attended who had no previous knowledge of the subjects spoke very highly of the feeling within the group being welcoming and non-judgemental, they said once they realized that no one was going to say anything negative they felt that they could talk freely and express their fears and air misinformation that they had heard within the communities.

For those of us who had some knowledge of the subjects, there was still new information to absorb. The tutors were excellent and had a good knowledge base particularly yourself and PC Ahmed.
Many thanks for your input and I hope we can work together again soon-  

Elizabeth Hellmich MBE

Chair person of the Millan Centre Bradford