Rifhat Malik MBE receives the King’s Award presented by Lord Lieutenant, Mr Ed Anderson CBE

Aptly described by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Ed Anderson CBE, as ‘the small charity packing a massive punch’, Give a Gift has been bestowed the King’s Award.

The celebratory affair held at Leeds Golf Club, on Sunday 28th April, marked by the presence of 100 dignitaries and guests, welcomed the prestigious honour of receiving the King’s Award.

The King’s Award, equivalent to an MBE, is a symbol of distinction and merit bestowed upon organisations demonstrating exceptional service and commitment to their community.

The event, witnessed the coming together of esteemed dignitaries, funders, supporters and over fifty volunteers, all joining hands to commemorate the remarkable achievement.

The accolade presented to Give A Gift, by the Lord Lieutenant, was accompanied with high praise in acknowledgment of the charity’s tireless efforts and impactful initiatives in supporting refugees, asylum seekers and those living in poverty.

Amidst an atmosphere brimming with pride and appreciation, attendees heard from guest speakers including the Lord Lieutenant, highlighting the charity’s remarkable journey, from humble beginnings to becoming a beacon of hope and support for countless individuals in need in the city.

‘This honour further inspires us’

Charity Director, Rifhat Malik MBE said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award as it recognises the brilliant contribution our amazing volunteers make to the organisation.

“This recognition reflects the dedication and tireless efforts of our team, volunteers, and supporters and will inspire us to continue our mission of making a positive impact on the most disadvantaged communities.”

The event served not only as a platform for celebration but also as an opportunity to express gratitude to the generous funders and the volunteers whose unwavering support has been instrumental in enabling Give A Gift to expand its reach and impact.
In a heartfelt address, volunteers ranging from Eliza who started volunteering at the age of nine to Jenny who is now 70, spoke with warmth at their pride in supporting the work of the organisation and helping ‘those less fortunate than ourselves’.

Brother and sister Eisa and Annie reflected on how Give a Gift has played a pivotal role of learning about compassion for others, and have been fundraising since they were very young. They, with their parents, have been involved in the family’s fundraising efforts for Give a Gift since 2013.
Councillor Abigail Marshall-Katung, the Lord Mayor elect for Leeds, expressed her profound gratitude to all those who have contributed to the charity’s success, emphasising the invaluable role played by Give A Gift in tackling poverty locally and making Leeds a better place for those who are destitute or struggling with food insecurity.

Reflecting on the significance of the occasion, Rifhat remarked: “Receiving the King’s Award is not just a recognition of our past accomplishments, but a testament to the continuing spirit of generosity and compassion that defines our organisation.

“The honour will further inspire us to redouble our efforts in serving those in need and working towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all.”

Driving force in the city

Leeds charity, Give a Gift, distributed food parcels throughout the pandemic in 2020

Launched in 2013, Give a Gift’s primary mission was to dispel and change negative narratives of Muslims in the UK via charitable work with local organisations.

Since then, the their incredible fundraising and social care work has seen them raise over £200,000, and deliver over a whopping £500,000 of food and key essentials packages to some of the most vulnerable individuals and families across West Yorkshire.

Since their inception, Give A Gift’s local fundraising has assisted in equipment, services, and facilities at Martin House Hospice, Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, and Bradford Hospitals.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of essential care packages were delivered by their wholly dedicated, and incredibly hard-working army of volunteers to hundreds of vulnerable families and individuals across Leeds.

Culture Hub

Not resting on their laurels, in 2022 Give a Gift proceeded to lauch their ‘Culture Hub’, the country’s first ‘culturally-appropriate’ food bank, carrying food items suitable for people of different faiths and backgrounds.

The food bank supports the individual needs of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Eastern European.

Give a Gifts’ culture hub supports over 1000 beneficiaries a week with food packages. On top of this, the Leeds-based charity works relentlessly to support refugees, asylum seekers and those living in poverty by providing food, clothing, hygiene, fuel vouchers and baby food.

Providing essential items via a culturally-appropriate food hub, Give a Gift has distributed over half a million pounds worth of food and other essential items over the last three years.

Find out how you can get involved, visit: https://giveagift.org.uk.