CareStart was founded by Dr Ayesha Khan, premised on the belief that mental health, social mobility and rehabilitation are pertinent issues across diverse communities; however there is little exploration around the stigma and practicalities around modes of support. In order to combat this, the trustees help combine policy and research with practical initiatives.

Our core trustees include:


Dr. Ayesha Khan

Ph.D. Sociology of Religion & British Muslim Studies, Cardiff University
Dr Khan is the founder of CareStart. She has a doctoral degree in the interdisciplinary fields of religion, sociology and British Muslim Studies. She is an experienced head of research, social researcher and policy advisor. Having spent several years volunteering in schools and for a mental health, wellbeing and rehabilitation charity, she set up CareStart in her hometown to provide support to some of the most vulnerable communities.

Javed Kachhalia

MA Islamic Education, University of Warwick
Javed is a qualified chaplain, currently working at the University of Reading and a Masters student at the University of Warwick. He has previously worked as a UK prison chaplain and outreach community chaplain. Javed is also an Imam and has formerly worked as consultant for CCAWS, a mental health and rehabilitation charity in Wales.

Saira Hassan

MSc Social Anthropology, Oxford University
Saira is a qualified Religion and Philosophy Lecturer with demonstrated experience of teaching across GCSE, A-level and Higher Education institutions. Through her ambition to understand and support children and young adults with mental health, she has also qualified as a Mental Health First Aider. She is currently completing her Masters degree at Oxford University.

Dr. Ishfaq Vaja

Ph.D. Public Health and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Vaja has a doctoral in Health Psychology and Public Health possessing significant experience in academia and practice. More specifically, he focusses on long term health conditions and intervention design with an emphasis on ethnic minorities. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, investigating innovative ways of reducing health inequalities in the UK and UAE.

Tabassum Amina Ismail

MBChB Medicine, University of Manchester
Amina graduated from the University of Manchester and is currently working as a Junior Doctor in the NHS. She previously served on the University of Manchester AskDoc student society committee, an established health organisation for ethnic minority communities, to help improve health and reduce health inequalities.

We are continually reviewing and expanding our team to amplify diverse voices and opinions. We are a non-partisan independent charity and therefore the affiliation of our members to any sect or political party does not impact on our work.