By ANISAH ARIF
Young volunteers from Manchester and Glasgow spend the Christmas period distributing food and hot drinks to homeless people.
40 volunteers from the charity Islamic Relief gathered on the rough streets of Manchester and Scotland, leaving the comfort of their homes, to give support to the homeless.
The event took place because of Islamic Relief’s winter campaign, which aims to raise money to help people living in poverty in the UK and around the world during the cold winter months – when those without adequate shelter are at their most vulnerable.
The volunteers also prepared and delivered more than 350 winter kits, which included a hat, scarf, gloves, thermal socks, a dental kit and a packet of biscuits – and handed out sleeping bags and thermal flasks to those who needed them most.
Many of the food and drink items were generously donated by local businesses such as Mighty Fresh in Blackburn and Bonnypack Cash and Carry in Glasgow. The items in the winter kits were donated or paid for by the public or through local community fundraising events. Children from the Al Meezan Friendship Club and Baitul-Ilm in Glasgow collectively raised more than £500 for the appeal.
Islamic Relief’s RespondIR volunteers – a dedicated volunteer programme that provides emergency response in crisis affected areas in the UK – are continuing to donate their time throughout the winter period, supporting homeless charities and food banks in London, Manchester and Bradford.
Hamzah Adam, an IT technician from Blackburn and volunteer for RespondIR said: “As RespondIR volunteers, we wanted to do something to show our solidarity and support for people who are living in crisis in the UK. By reaching out to people on the streets, we hope to be a friend, share a smile, have a chat over a coffee, but most importantly express our love for them in whatever way we can.”
Nadeem Baquir, Community Fundraising Manager at Islamic Relief said: “Our volunteers have a real appetite for supporting local as well as international initiatives. It’s just as important to them to give back to the community where they live, as it is to support vulnerable people overseas.”
Islamic Relief’s winter campaign also supports refugees, internally displaced people and other vulnerable people around the world who are facing the prospect of having to survive winter without adequate shelter, food or clothing. The charity helped over 90,000 people last winter, including families in Afghanistan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Pakistan and Yemen, providing them with items such as blankets, mattresses, plastic mats and sheets to help protect them against the freezing weather.
The charity is encouraging the public to donate to its winter appeal, which will help vulnerable people around the world survive the cold months ahead. Donating £50 could provide a family with food for a month, £65 could provide a family with winter clothes and £120 could provide a person in need with a winter pack.
One of 14 UK charities that forms the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee), Islamic Relief has a 34-year history and helped 110 million people worldwide.
It aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people in more than 40 countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. We also work to alleviate poverty within the borders of the United Kingdom, with branches in Bradford, Birmingham, London, Bolton, Cardiff, Glasgow etc.