Our founder Neelam recognized that menstrual, maternal and mental health issues were often trivialized by healthcare professionals and sexualized within her own community and others due to outdated cultural beliefs, male-dominated spaces, and patriarchy.

What began as a social media page to express her frustrations with her diagnosis and the lack of understanding soon evolved into a support group for others with similar experiences. This support group eventually became a registered charity. Neelam decided to leave her legal career to focus on expanding the charity.

Cysters is an inclusive space and supports individuals dealing with menstrual, maternal and mental health issues, often addressing sensitive and personal topics. The charity’s growth has been organic, reflecting the cultural and community needs.

In 2019, the charity changed its name from “Cysters – Women’s Support and Awareness Group” to “Cysters” to emphasize its commitment to inclusivity. Neelam founded the charity on the principles of “Sarbhat da Bhalla,” meaning “for the good of everyone” for the Sikh community. This commitment to inclusion and community is at the heart of all our work. Faith has always been an integral part of Cysters and our journey.

We continuously learn and adapt our messaging to avoid causing further harm to communities already affected by violence and discrimination. The name “Cysters” originates from Neelam’s initial diagnosis of an ovarian cyst and her need for a supportive community, thus leading to the creation of Cysters.

We believe that change is only possible through community. We strive to build a supportive and understanding community, recognizing and addressing barriers that others face. Acknowledging our own privilege is the first step in supporting others on their journeys. We are proud to use our privilege to create this inclusive space, taking steps forward together as Cysters.

Our logo features a “V” sign, symbolizing virginity. Our founder felt that this topic needed addressing and has used Cysters as a platform to deconstruct the virginity myth and reclaim our narratives.

Listen more via our Tedx talk.

Our values

Community: The Cysterhood is an inclusive community, bringing together people from all walks of life through shared experiences.

Collaboration: We acknowledge our limits and collaborate with others to support our Cysters in achieving the best outcomes.

Care: We care deeply for each Cyster, ensuring representation and support for all, regardless of background.

Confidence: We empower Cysters to become their own health advocates, helping them make informed choices and gain confidence.