Bradford School careers officer Nazim Ali is a well known face when it comes to charity work. Over the past two decades he has delivered hundreds of thousands of pounds in aid to the needy locally, nationally and internationally. So it came as no surprise when we learnt that Mr Ali has once again put his best efforts in to help put a smile on the faces of sick children during the Christian period of Easter and also the Islamic holy month of Shab’aan, the month which celebrates the ‘Night of Forgiveness’
More than 30 gifts were handed out to poorly children aged from birth to 16 years at the children’s ward 17 of Airedale Hospital. Gifts included cuddly toys, children’s DVD’s, play sets, babies toys, for both boys and girls.
Speaking to Asian Sunday Nizam Ali started his conversation by quoting the prophet Muhammad. “The prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, ‘I love children. They are content with the least of things, and gold and mud are the same in their eyes.’
“It’s been a great honour to have arranged the Shab’aan/Easter Gift Giving Initiative to celebrate the recent Islamic event of the ‘Night of Forgiveness’ in the Islamic holy month of Shab’aan and also marking the holy Christian period of Easter.” Nizam explained
“I express my gratitude to Shiraz Ahmed and Fairaz Ahmed (Managing Directors) of Bradford-based Saveco Cash & Carry 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 Children’s Wards) which has been running for 7 years now.
“It was a gesture of kindness and to show that members of the wider community do care and think about poorly children and ultimately uplift their spirits. The gifts are for all children in the ward irrespective of faith.” He added
Nizam explained how the essence of the blessed Islamic month of Shab’aan and the Holy period of Easter 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 as is Easter for Christians and many others. A double celebration for many. 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.”
Mr Ali recalled his own experience as a child where he spent a significant period in hospital due to his struggle with TB and therefore he can empathise with what the children are going through.
To date hundreds of gifts have been distributed by Mr Ali, which has come as a result of 17 visits to Children’s Wards including Christmas Gifts from the past 3 years. “It’s those hundreds of smiles of innocent poorly children that has certainly enriched me and humbled me to keep coming back and doing more” Mr Ali told us.
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 Airedale Hospital. Knowing so many children were joyous and excited upon receiving their presents fills Fairaz and myself 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.”
Karen Reece, Play Leader for Ward 17, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “A big thank you to Nazim and Saveco Cash & Carry 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org ”
Also supporting the initiative was 17 year old Keighley resident Sufyaan Bashir who is currently a sixth form student at Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton and
Nazim’s close friend Muhammed Sohaib who assisted him in the selection of the multi-age range toys for boys and girls.