A brother and sister from Keighley are urging more residents across West Yorkshire to ‘step up and be counted’ as an appeal for volunteers with local charities is echoed across the county.
Faisal Tariq and Sam Naaz both volunteer with the InTouch Foundation and have been working with the charity in their own time for two years now.
Balancing a family life, alongside full-time employment and a social life can seem a hard task to do, so when you add in the aspect of charity, people often turn a blind eye at volunteering opportunities.
For Faisal, who manages all four of these elements in his busy life, it is something which must not be overlooked.
“My earliest memory of charity is from when I was really young and I remember seeing my dad put money in charity boxes and collections,” the 28-year-old said.
“One day I asked him why he did it and he told me, ‘If God gave me this wealth why not share it with those who need it. You never know when you will be in such a situation’.
“Those words really stuck with me and I think by volunteering it is a great way of giving back and seeing firsthand the impact it can have on someone’s life.”
Faisal initially began working with InTouch through their Keighley mobile kitchen on a one night a week basis.
Now, after advancing through the charity, he is the UK Fundraising Manager, completing all his work as a volunteer and continues to dish up food to those in need.
“I have helped raise money for charities in the past, but the difference in working for a charity close to home like InTouch and those that operate around the world, is you get to see the difference you make,” he added.
“In an ideal world there would be no need for a charity such as InTouch but poverty can affect anyone. It is only through volunteering that we are able to help these causes.”
Sam, who got on board with the charity following her brother’s initial role, has also progressed up the voluntary ladder and now holds the responsibility of Volunteer Manager and Bradford Site Manager.
A teacher at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College, the 26-year-old says she has even seen former students use the InTouch services.
Explaining how she got involved with volunteering, she said: “I started here after learning about the charity from Faisal and we both had similar views on the need to help close to home.
“On my first day at the mobile kitchen everything just felt right. I knew there and then that I was going to continue volunteering and would urge others to do the same.
“Whether it is just a couple of hours a week or casual opportunities, there are projects that need people’s help and it is a fantastic way of developing and progressing yourself as well as the community.”
The InTouch Foundation is run by volunteers and like many charities across West Yorkshire, rely on support, both financially and physically, to continue with the work they do on a daily basis.