By RAHEEMA KHAN

Award winning charity campaigner Nazim Ali dropped off gifts for poorly children at Bradford Royal Infirmary childrens ward, as part of his EID UL ADHA ‘Creating Smiles Gifts’ initiative.

More than 50 presents were handed out to children from ages 0 – 16 years, which range from cuddly toys, children’s DVD’s, play sets, babies toys for both boys and girls.

Nazim Ali (Creating Smiles Gifts Initiative Co-ordinator), Elaine Drake (Fundraising Assistant, Bradford. Hospitals Charity and Haji Nadeem Sheikh (Friend of Bradford Royal Infirmary)

Mr Ali hands them out to mark the celebration of the Islamic festival of Eid Ul Adha (Big Eid) to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Dhul Hijjah.

Mr Ali runs the gift-giving as he spent time in hospital as a child suffering with tuberculosis, and said he empathises with the children, but this year the donations are also in memory of his friend PC Shazad Saddique from Oldham who died last month at the age of 38.

He told Asian Sunday: “As a child I spent a significant period in hospital due to my struggle with TB and can empathise with what the children are going through.

“I also owe it to those who inspired me with their community work and want to therefore donate in memory of my late friend PC Shazad Saddique.

“It was a gesture of kindness and to show that members of the wider community do care and think about them (poorly children) and ultimately uplift their spirits. The gifts are for all children in the ward irrespective of faith.

“The essence of the blessed Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah and the Holy festival of Eud Ul Adha share the universal concept of kindness and compassion to all particularly those in need. It is these values that bring all people together regardless of belief and we hope we have achieved this at some level today. We realise this is a period of reflection for Muslims. However, it is also a period where we should reflect and support the most vulnerable in society. To this end we felt the need to make a proactive difference.”

To date hundreds of gifts have been donated through Nazim’s initiative, with around 19 visits to Childrens Wards, including Christmas visits over the last three years.

The Bradford fundraiser feels humbled and enriched from the hundreds of smiles of the innocent poorly children and he believes this is not possible without the generous donations from his sponsors of more than seven years.

“I express my gratitude to Shiraz Ahmed and Fairaz Ahmed (Managing Directors) of Bradford-based Saveco Cash & Carry And Ottoman Tea, Bar & Grill  for their kind and selfless on-going support. They have also been one of the main sponsors for the now four times (Christmas, Easter, Eid Ul Fitr & Eid Ul Adha) a year ‘Creating Smiles Gifts Initiative (supporting both Airedale and Bradford Royal Infirmary Childrens Wards) which has been running for 7 years now.” Nazim said.

Shiraz Ahmed (Managing Director, Saveco Cash & Carry) said: “We are truly humbled to once more support the fabulous Toy Gifts Initiative started by Nazim who does so much to help others. We are pleased to support Bradford Royal Infirmary Hospital. Knowing so many children will be joyous and excited upon receiving their presents fills myself and Fairaz with inner happiness and contentment. This initiative (long may it continue!) and the other charitable initiatives we support such as sponsoring soup kitchens, junior football teams and so forth is all part of our corporate social responsibility as a Bradford-based business to give back to society and is something Fairaz and I passionately believe in.”

Elaine Drake (Fundraising Assistant, Bradford. Hospitals Charity) said: “A big thank you to Nazim and Saveco Cash & Carry And Ottoman Tea, Bar & Grill for their amazing support. The gifts will make a huge difference and it was wonderful to see the poorly children smiling and brings that normality for them. We look forward to their continued support.

We are always looking for support and can be contacted on e-mail: elaine.drake@bthft.nhs.uk