A United Britain
A team of Yorkshire volunteers headed south last weekend to help tackle the rising flood waters which have left many parts of England submerged.
Members of the Yorkshire branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) joined up with fellow flood relief volunteers to provide support for those affected by the recent downpours.
Throughout recent weeks, harsh weather conditions have caused severe damage to properties across the country yet support has begun to arrive from an array of backgrounds.
Diverse faith groups, ethnicities and races have united to help those affected and are working side-by-side in affected villages across the UK.
Sikh members of Khalsa Aid and volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association joined local community groups to wade through the mud and water and lay sandbags in Worcester.
Dr. Aziz Hafiz, a national AMYA disaster and relief co-ordinator from Bingley, said: “Several hundred volunteers have taken time off work to travel hundreds of miles to assist with relief efforts.
“I can't describe how touched we have all been by the warmth of the communities and people we have assisted. We are proud to be able to work alongside other faith groups and the army.”
Commenting on the work of the volunteers Kevin Purcell, Policing superintendent for North Worcestershire, added: “[It is a] very generous gesture by the AMYA, donating large number of blankets to troops on flood effort in Worcester.
“Your gift and the significance it bears is noted, with troops, police and the community truly appreciative. My words may be kind, they are just words, your action and deeds are so much more.”
Earlier in the week soldiers, members of a local Church and volunteers from the AMYA worked tirelessly to clear and fortify St. Paul’s Church in Staines.
In a sign of public unity, members of the Christian community later invited AMYA volunteers to say their congregational prayers in the same church.
On Friday a group of volunteers from the same Muslim group worked with the local community to prepare St. Peter's Church in Chertsey so that a local wedding could go ahead.
Cllr Shannon Saise-Marshall, Councillor at Runnymede, Chertsey, added: “I'm here at the Runnymede Council... and we are publicly thanking Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth for all their generous help. They are true heroes rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job.”
Volunteers have been based in Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex, Dorset, Somerset, the Midlands, and North West England. The AMYA is operating a 24 hour rota with a central team surveying the hardest hit areas and deploying volunteers, 4x4 vehicles and supplies wherever there is a need, with the elderly, churches and schools being prioritised.
Any community in need of assistance can find details of how to contact AMYA at www.muslimsforhumanity.org.uk whilst donations towards the ongoing AMYA UK flood relief efforts can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/flood-relief2014 or by texting AMYA56 £5 to 70070 (texts will automatically donate £5).