‘Overwhelmed’ by public generosity
Teenagers in difficult family situation, with just £57 a week to live on, receive immense kindness from society
Three teenagers, who were left to care for themselves in Bradford after their mother was seriously injured in a car accident in Bangladesh, say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the public’s support.
18-year-old Yeasin Mohammed, younger brother Ismail Mohammed, 15, and sister Jasmin Akter, 13, had an appeal sent out on their behalf from Carlton Bolling College after the situation was brought to the school’s attention by a support worker.
The three young people were left to live off only £57 a week in benefits at the time as they were unable to access their mother’s benefits whilst she was in hospital.
Since the initial ‘call for help’ more than £5,000 has now been donated to the three siblings which will help cover the costs of living and soaring medical bills.
However, it isn’t only monetary donations which have been made. The offer of food, furniture and even employment opportunities have been offered by businesses in and around the city.
Eldest brother, Yeasin, said the support had been ‘unbelievable’ and thanked the public for their response.
“People we don’t know are helping us in amazing ways and giving us money which they don’t even have to give away in many cases,” he said.
“One lady donated £600 and she was crying when I spoke to her on the phone.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who has been helping us and would ask for the support to continue to help my brother and sister.”
After the car accident in Bangladesh, the family were left with huge hospital bills as the children’s mother, Mahfuza Khatun, did not have travel insurance.
To fly Ms Khatun home, it cost the family £7,000 whilst a further £2,500 was lost when a travel agency allegedly booked the wrong flight and refused to refund the payment.
Now back in the UK, the children’s mother is recovering in Pinderfields Intensive Care Unit, in Wakefield, with the siblings visiting every day.
Sayyeda Khan, vice-chair at the Hamara Centre, has been working closely with the family since hearing of their plight.
Acting as the single point of contact for the teenagers and establishing the needs of the family, Ms Khan has also helped develop a long term action plan which will enable Yeasin to support himself and his siblings in the future.
“It is amazing to see how the city, and even wider public, have come together to help the family but they do continue to need support and help,” she said.
“I have been doing call-backs to every person who has donated through the college and have heard some extremely generous stories. One woman I recall donated a large amount of money out of her family’s Christmas fund.”
Amongst the businesses currently providing support to the family is Bradford-based SaveCo which has offered free food to the teenagers even before the initial appeal was launched.
Sharaz Ahmed, store manager, said: “We started helping the family around three months ago when a social worker contacted us through a friend.
“Without any hesitation we knew we would be able to help them and have been providing food and drink for around three months now.”
The next fundraiser for the family is set to be staged on Sunday 28th December as the InTouch Foundation host an event for the siblings and other families living in poverty.
Held at the Willowfield Centre on Legrams Lane, Bradford, the evening starts at 5pm until 9pm and will include talks about poverty and a meal.