Tag Archive: Charity

New report highlights faith as the “fourth emergency service”

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MP Naz Shah talks about the findings from a report on role of British Muslim charities and individuals

Frustratingly Muslims have been under relentless scrutiny as to whether they are integrated to British values or not, much of this a distasteful consequence of “sensational” headlines and mass negative mainstream media coverage.

Now a new report commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), for which MP Naz Shah is Vice Chair, highlights the exceptional charity work of British Muslim organisations and individuals.

Titled ‘Faith as the Fourth Emergency Service’, the APPG on British Muslims highlights the prodigious range of work done by Muslim charities in the UK, which evokes the very best of British Muslim communities.

Says Naz Shah: “Too often Muslim charities come to our attention because of negative media coverage of governance issues or bad practice among a handful of individuals working in the charity sector.

“It could even be because of latent fears about charities being abused for terrorism financing even though evidence assembled by the Charities Commission recognises near non-existent level of threat of such abuse in the sector.

“What is less appreciated, and rarely celebrated, is the applaudable voluntary imput of Muslim charities in the UK.

“There’s a commitment to giving to those less fortunate than themselves, a desire to help those in need, a willingness to volunteer time, professionalism and extend friendship to those who simply need a warm embrace, a friendly face and a place to go for a free hot meal.

“What we hear even less about is the ‘Merry Muslim Christmas’. The soup kitchens, the food banks, the Christmas dinners, the New Year clean up work Muslim charities will be busy doing during the Christmas period.

“In this season of peace and goodwill to all, the APPG on British Muslims wanted to refocus attention on aspects of our British Muslim communities which are not considered ‘newsworthy’, which are not given due credit, and which all too easily slip into the background because too little of it is captured and disseminated by British Muslim charities themselves.

“While charity giving is a pillar of the Islamic faith, so is observing humility.

“Muslims too often quietly go about charity giving in a way that is consistent with the emphasis in Islam on discretion; of ‘giving charity so that the left hand does not know what the right hand gives’, but this is a story which needs to be told and we want to be the ones to tell it, by celebrating the benefits of a multi-faith society, where people from different faith traditions focus their charitable activities.”

APPG Co-Chair Anna Soubry comments: “As I have said before, communities have much to learn from one another. There is much we can learn from British Muslims and the work they do over Christmas.

“I have been deeply moved by the evidence we have heard. The number of British Muslim Charities supporting non-Muslims during the season of good will is testament to the true nature of the Islamic Faith’.

APPG Co-Chair Wes Streeting adds: ‘British Muslim communities are living out their faith by playing an active role and supporting the most deprived in their communities. Motivated by faith and a commitment to their fellow citizens this Christmas we will once again see British Muslims feeding, clothing, housing and providing friendship to those that are often forgotten as we celebrate Christmas with our families.”

Legendary Qawali singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan becomes Barnardo’s International Ambassador

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Barnardo’s international ambassador Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan arrives at the Annual Gala Dinner in support of the children’s charity at the Dorchester Hotel

Barnardo’s international ambassador Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan arrives at the Annual Gala Dinner in support of the children’s charity at the Dorchester Hotel


One of the world’s most acclaimed South Asian musicians has joined Barnardo’s as an international ambassador, in a huge boost for the children’s charity.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan accepted the offer after topping the bill at the sell-out Annual Gala Dinner at London’s Dorchester Hotel for the UK’s South Asian community to support Barnardo’s work with vulnerable children and young people across the UK.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan becomes the second international ambassador to join Barnardo’s, after Bollywood super-star Salman Khan pledged his support in September.

The renowned Pakistani singer played a mesmerising set of traditional Qawali music in front of celebrity guests including Barnardo’s ambassadors Andy Serkis, Nicola Roberts, Lydia Bright and Debbie Douglas, along with new supporters including celebrated musician Naughty Boy and top TV presenter Sonali Shah.

The gala raised funds for Barnardo’s and was put together by live events specialists PME with the theme of “It’s time to give back”, giving the UK’s South Asian community the chance to support vulnerable children, young people and families from all backgrounds across the UK.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “It’s a huge honour that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has agreed to become Barnardo’s International Ambassador. The maestro comes from a 600 year old family heritage of Qawali singing and has a huge global following and influence.

Barnardo’s international ambassador Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan receives his certificate with Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan and Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Cohen

Barnardo’s international ambassador Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan receives his certificate with Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan and Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Cohen


“He was very generous in his praise for Barnardo’s work to help vulnerable children and young people - last year alone we reached 272,000 children, young people, carers and parents.

“Barnardo’s works in a wide range of communities across the UK. From our earliest days over 150 years ago, Barnardo’s has been proud to help those who need us most, regardless of cultural or religious background.

“We have always valued and respected diversity at our core. Britain’s Asian communities have made a huge contribution to UK life, and helped develop a respect for and tolerance of difference, making this great country a vibrant place in which to live and work.”

The singer was presented with his international ambassador certificate by Barnardo’s Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Cohen.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said: “I’m honoured to become an international ambassador for Barnardo’s as I know how hard the charity works to support vulnerable children, young people, carers and parents of all backgrounds in the UK, including those with South Asian roots.

“It was wonderful to be able to perform in the intimate setting of the Dorchester Hotel and raise funds for Barnardo’s, and I’m looking forward to working with the charity so that more children who have experienced tough situations in the past can look forward to a better future.”

Musician and Barnardo’s supporter Naughty Boy (right) with fellow guests at the Annual Gala Dinner in support of the children’s charity at the Dorchester Hotel

Musician and Barnardo’s supporter Naughty Boy (right) with fellow guests at the Annual Gala Dinner in support of the children’s charity at the Dorchester Hotel

Heroes of Harehills: Local lads on a mission to raise £15,000 to support the Rohingyan Muslims

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THE TEAM: Harehills heroes, Tanveer ‘Tiki’ Latif, Sajad Sajawal, Osman Ali, Mukid Ali and Shishu Ali, who are all members of Harehills Community Aid who are aiming to raise £15,000 to help the Rohingyan Muslims aid relief

THE TEAM: Harehills heroes, Tanveer ‘Tiki’ Latif, Sajad Sajawal, Osman Ali, Mukid Ali and Shishu Ali, who are all members of Harehills Community Aid who are aiming to raise £15,000 to help the Rohingyan Muslims aid relief


“We are called Harehills community Aid for a reason because it’s an area which gets enough bad publicity and we want to help change this and get some positive vibes.”

A group of men from Harehills in Leeds, have set the bar high with their latest charity drive. They’re looking to raise an imposing £15,000 to help the Rohingyan Muslims who have been forced to flee the atrocities in Myanmar to Bangladesh.

The £15,000 target is a large one, but one which will go towards the aid and support to help supply necessities which are taken for granted in this country. Things like clean water, food, and medical aid are high priorities and the money raised will go towards funding this.

There are over half a million people who are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance after they have fled from the violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh.

It is largley Rohingyan women and children who have been forced to leave, with many children being left orphaned with families and homes wrecked in the violence. This has caused international outrage and people want to take a stand.

Harehills Community Aid who have been successful with their charity work in the past raising funds for people in France in need are looking to help.

With many of them being Bangladeshi themselves, they speak of their charity campaign for the Rohingyan Aid fund. Mukid Ali explains: “We came together as a group and helped numerous smaller causes around 18-months ago.

“We helped raise funds for a charity who were going over to help out in Syria during Ramadan, and  we made a large donation towards that.

“The idea behind this current campaign came after my recent holiday in Bangladesh with my family.

“Being exposed to how many Rohingyan Muslims refugees are seeking help is heartwrenching.

“The situation is really dire over there, thousands of orphaned children, mothers and homeless people forced to run away seeking aid they so desperatley need.

“Bangladesh is already a third-year country, which is over populated and financially they have always been struggling, so they can’t cope with the influx of Rohingyans going over seeking refuge.”

Mr Ali narrated the horrors of witnessing the after effects of people facing atrocities first hand, and it had such an effect he wanted to help his native country and wanted the local community to help out he explained.

“When I came back the situation over there was that bad and hit me so hard, I decided to get us all together and do something, so we are targeting getting the community on board.

“This time we are really going for it and want to push ourselves as much as we can, we did a lot with the France Aid we did but we believe we can do more and get the community on board even more.

“We have set ourselves a really high target of £15,000, but we know this can be achieved. This will be different though as we all can’t just drive to Bangladesh like we did France, and you can’t just transport things like food and clothes because it becomes too costly.

“So, we decided that one of us will go over in person. I myself have taken that responsibility and will hand over the money.

“I will be covering the cost of this myself from my own pocket. None of what we raise will be going on my expenses, every penny we raise will be going directly to helping with the Rohingyan aid.”

Mr Ali then discusses how they are looking to raise funds for this worthy cause and the support they are already receiving from local organisations such as a college.

Mr Ali says: “We were looking at ways to raise these funds, so on the back of our incredibly successful football tournament we have set up another one for 1st January 2018 at Thomas Danby College through the help of Naved who runs the pitches there. They’ve let us use their pitches for free. They have always been really supportive and a great help we really appreciate what they do for us and our charity work.”

The group are also offering a service in which they are selling fudge cakes to the community for £10, in a service where they will be hand delivering the cakes themselves with all proceeds going directly to the fund, and this has already proved a successful fund-raising method.

“The first week we have had a lot of support from the community with this initiative with over 70 orders on cakes in the first week alone,” he says.

“People do give us encouraging words on the work we do and some people when we get there just give us donations and don’t even ask for a cake.

The Harehills Community Aid group are also looking to get local businesses on board.

“There is one already who are going to put a charity dinner on for us on the 21st of November with all proceeds going directly to our aid fund as well.

“The main thing what we want to achieve is the awareness of the plight of what these people are actually going through and that we need to do whatever we can to help them out and alleviate some of their issues.

Team mate Shishu then emphasised the importance of the community getting on board with what they are trying to achieve: “We are doing a good deed and obviously that’s great and makes us feel good, but it’s not about us it’s about helping them and making a difference to their lives.

“With this cause, knowing people from Bangladesh, along with some of us being Bangladeshi ourselves, we can’t just sit back and let this happen. We are all blessed with family and financially, so we want to stand up and help out.

“Bangladesh is a third world country which suffers with really poor financial problems and hygiene problems and it almost feels like these people are being forgotten and not being treat equally and fair because they are Muslim, and that’s not right at all.”

Mr Ali, issued a rallying call to the local people of Harehills to get behind them.

“We are all hard-working family people who really appreciate what we have, and we will be taking time out to do this and it is really important to us to do,” he says.

“It is important to emphasise how it’s not just the Asian community that’s helping. People from all different communities work together as one and stand united side by side - it’s all about community spirit.”

The Harehills Community Aid group plan to deliver the funds to Bangladesh on 15th January. If you would like to help out with this cause in anyway or purchase a fudge cake you can contact Shishu on: 07912869694 or email They do advise to order by Thursday to ensure weekend delivery.

Bone marrow and stem cell donors needed

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I'm getting in touch on behalf of Team Margot – a charity that campaigns for more people to join the worldwide registers as bone marrow/stem cell donors, particularly those from Black, Asian, minority ethnic backgrounds and those with mixed heritage.

Last week, 'The Power of One' opened to the public at London's City Hall until 24th November. It's a portrait photography exhibition and a working collaboration between Team Margot and City Hall's Peer Outreach Team – a group of 30 young Londoners aged 15-25 years old from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. The exhibition features portraits of peer outreach workers, patients, donors. One of those featured in the exhibition is 37-year-old Wolverhampton native, Rajbinder Kullar, who is a stem cell donor herself and available for interview. She can talk about her experience of being a stem cell donor and how because of Team Margot, she joined the register.

Of Punjabi Indian heritage, Raj signed up to the register in May 2014 and in October of the same year was called up to donate. She continues to encourage people from her own community, and from within her family of Punjabi heritage, to register as stem cell donors. Only 21% of those from a BAME background are able to find a perfect match, compared to 69% with white northern European heritage.

Student organises refugee aid drive

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A Bradford College student has been so moved by the plight of refugees in northern France she is filling a van of goods and delivering them in person later this month.

Helen Routledge, who is in the second year of a social work degree at the University Centre Bradford College, is collecting clothes, toiletries, tents and toys to distribute to the needy around Calais, Dunkirk and Paris.

According to Care4Calais there are currently around 1,000 refugees sleeping rough in Calais and Dunkirk and over 1,500 in Paris.

Bags are already piling up at her Oxenhope home thanks to the generosity of friends and family. A collection is taking place at her son's school, Oxenhope C of E Primary School, and she is now appealing to her fellow students to help provide much-needed items.

The mum-of-two will head over the Channel on 22nd November and will link up with the Care4Calais charity to distribute the aid. She'll be joined on the three-day mission by her sister Ashley Harlow and friend Kelly Harlow.

"Last year a friend told me she was collecting coats for Syrian refugee children. I wanted to help and managed to collect 100 myself.

"I then saw a documentary called The Forgotten Children about refugee orphans stranded in Europe and it broke my heart but also motivated me to do more.

"I started looking into the issue. I saw how horrendous it was and is. I thought, what can I do? I saw people had just put stuff in their cars and driven over so I decided that is what I would do. The idea of small, vulnerable children sleeping outside this winter upsets me.

"I spoke to a few of the other social work students and they said they would be up for supporting me. Now we are making it a college-wide appeal.

"I have never done any major charity fundraising before but I have found people are very willing to help, even if they can only donate a bottle of shampoo. Everyday items like that are very much needed and can help provide women and children some comfort and dignity.

"By going over I will get first-hand experience of the problem and will be able to come back and speak about my experience to raise awareness of the crisis."

A full list of the items sought is available on the website of Bradford College Students' Union and collections can be made in Bradford College on November 20th at 11.30am at the Student Hub in the David Hockney Building.


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Bradford-based Barnardo's ETS Yorkshire has won the Charity, Voluntary and Public Sector Employer of Year, and Barnardo's apprentice Janade Iftikhar from was shortlisted for Asian Apprentice of the Year at the Asian Apprenticeship Awards 2017.

The awards were held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on 2nd November 2017.

Barnardo's ETS Yorkshire manager, James Robinson, says: "I am delighted we've won this award. It sends out a strong and clear message that not only do we support children and young people as an organisation, but we invest in them from within the communities we work with here in Bradford. For us, this is just the start as we focus to provide more opportunities and better outcomes for young people as Barnardo's employees in the future"

ETS Yorkshire offers young people the chance to equip themselves with the necessary skills, confidence and ambition to find work and pursue a career. Working in partnership with local employers, schools, colleges and other charities, it trains and supports some of the most vulnerable children and their families, with specialist knowledge and expertise available to help young people on their journey into adult life.

The service supports learners in the classroom as well as the workplace, building confidence and resilience to complete varied programmes. Students gain work experience to maximise employability and apprentices are succeeding across all programmes. Despite candidates often beginning studies with multiple barriers to learning, a recent Ofsted inspection awarded Barnardo's ETS services a rating of 'good'.

Success for charity who raise thousands to put disabled on the right path

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Path to success raises £66,000 at their 2017 charity gala

Leading Indian charity, Path to Success who were founded by leading Indian Philanthropist Anita Choudrie has raised more than £66,000 at its 2017 Gala Dinner.

This year’s dinner was held at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel and ran with the theme which was, ‘the Magic of Childhood’, all the proceeds of the night went directly towards disability charity Action for Kids and the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club.

Over 200 guests attended the glittering event, with the audience entertained by ‘Incognito Artists’, who are a group of stars from London’s best-known West End shows, captivating the audience with an assortment of famous childhood songs from family favourite films including Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins.

Emily Carey was the star performer at the event, who has starred as ‘Young Diana’ in Hollywood Box Office hit Wonder Woman and will next year appear as Anastasia in the Netflix production Anastasia: Once Upon A Time.

The audience featured Christy Gregan and Sophie Patterson, two of the stars from the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club, who are pursuing a dream of competing for Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both receiving £22,500 sponsorship from Path to Success, to help achieve their dream.

London Titans have produced over 50 team GB players, but receive no funding, so the work of Path to Success and the money they raise is crucial to provide coaching fees, court hire and specially modified wheelchairs so they can play the sport.

Path for Success, also support ‘Action for Kids’, which provide wheelchairs and mobility equipment to disabled children and young adults. Last year they allocated more than £39.000 to buy nine special wheelchairs, giving children independence, mobility and a chance to live life to the fullest.

This year the money raised for Action for Kids will support a £19,000 wheelchair for Zoe, 26, and a £16,000 wheelchair for Ahmed, 22, as well as a number of other young people.

Path to Success was founded by Mrs Choudhrie in 2006, and supports a different cause each year, with a focus on education and disability. The charity has raised more than £400,000 over the last eleven years, making a huge impact on the lives of wheelchair users in both the UK and India, through Mrs Choudhrie’s work with the Amar Jyoti Trust.

Mrs Choudhrie spoke of the event and thanked everyone who was involved she said;

“I am grateful to everyone whom made our annual dinner such a magical event.

“We want to inspire fantastic individuals like Christy and Sophie just as they have inspired us with their passion and ambition.

“We hope to pledge the money raised to support two more players to follow their Team GB Paralympian dream, and to provide more wheelchairs to the long list of Action For Kids recipients, who all deserve the chance to live more independent lives.

“Path to Success is more determined than ever to support those who most need it in society, and to help people turn their inability into ability”

Bradford charity calls for ACTION not equality audits

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Dr Mohammed Ali OBE wants to see the audit findings translated into positive action to make sure that no one is held back because of his or her race

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE wants to see the audit findings translated into positive action to make sure that no one is held back because of his or her race


“We have been campaigning to raise awareness of the barriers that prevent people from BAME backgrounds from fulfilling their potential since 1990”

A national charity reacted to today's publication of Theresa May's Race Disparity Audit by calling for immediate measures to end the social injustices suffered by minority communities.

The Bradford-based organisation QED Foundation helped to organise a consultation event for the Cabinet Office in the city and its deputy chief executive Adeeba Malik CBE was on the report's steering group.

Now the charity wants to see the audit findings translated into positive action to make sure that no one is held back because of his or her race.

“The statistics on the new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website show just how difficult it is for people from less privileged backgrounds to improve their circumstances in Britain today,” says chief executive Dr Mohammed Ali OBE.

“But they don't tell us anything new.

“We have been campaigning to raise awareness of the barriers that prevent people from BAME backgrounds from fulfilling their potential since 1990.

“Every day we work with men and women who face a daily struggle to earn enough money to provide for their families or even find a job, despite often being highly qualified.

“This is only the latest in a long series of reports highlighting just how stratified British society remains - yet until now there has been little sign that policy makers are prepared to do anything about it.

“We welcome the prime minister's promise to launch a programme of work to tackle some of the disparities in the audit. However, we cannot create a truly fair and cohesive society unless the private, public and third sectors work alongside the government to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the same opportunities.”

QED Foundation has helped more than 30,000 people from ethnic minority backgrounds to progress through its education and training initiatives. It has invested more than £15m in disadvantaged communities and has particular expertise in supporting new arrivals to settle in to British life and become economically active. It also campaigns and influences politicians, senior decision makers and businesses to create a level playing field for people of all ethnicities.

Boost for Yorkshire children’s cancer charity

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Little Gia with Candlelighters family support manager Natalie

Little Gia with Candlelighters family support manager Natalie


Candlelighters are excited to announce that their Cottage Campaign has been given a huge helping hand by The Kentown Wizard Foundation.

The Cottage Campaign to raise half a million pounds was launched in May this year by the Lord Mayor of Leeds and will fund the renovation of a cottage, just a stone’s throw away from Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The Cottage will provide family accommodation to enable more families facing childhood cancer to be together at what is a very upsetting and distressing time.

The Kentown Wizard Foundation have announced that they will match fund up to £250,000 towards the Cottage project.

Margaret Ingram, CEO at the foundation, explained, “We are delighted to be able to support Candlelighters in this way.

“Our Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications for funding; instead we actively seek out charities we wish to support. We have offered this match funding to Candlelighters because we have been so impressed by the wonderful work the charity does and because we believe that the Candlelighters Cottage is a fantastic project.”

The Kentown Wizard Foundation exists to benefit children and young people and was set up in 2015 by philanthropist Ken Townsley who has since donated or pledged in the region of £100 million to the Foundation. That money will generate substantial annual income in perpetuity and the trustees donate this income to other UK registered charities whose objectives and values are aligned with theirs.

Jo Shepheard, Charity Director at Candlelighters, told us: “The Cottage will provide huge benefits for children with cancer and their families ensuring they can stay together when they most need one another.

“The generous matched funding from The Kentown Wizard Foundation means we are moving nearer to making the Cottage a reality, their support is invaluable to us and we are extremely grateful.”

If you would like to find out more about the Candlelighters Cottage Campaign or how you can get involved please visit

They’ve done it again! Sant Nirankari Mission members help local food bank with supplies

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“We are all one global family and it is our duty to help and look after each ”

The Sant Nirankari Mission in Bradford certainly don’t shy from encouraging voluntary work and have been involved with planting tens of thousands of trees in the district.

Now members of the congregation donated generously to  purchase much-needed food items for the Bradford  Metropolitan Food Bank. Youngsters digged deep by putting their  pocket money towards the collection to buy food for the needy.

Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank Coordinator Ken Leach was overwhelmed by the generosity of the mission's members and said he couldn't thank them enough for their help.  

Volunteer in charge, Mohinder Ram said: “The mission’s belief is we are all one global family and it is our duty to help and look after each other as brothers and sisters and children of one supreme father - God Almighty.

“We hope this little collection will help to put food on the table for those who need it and we look forward  to helping again very soon."

Flexing those hairy climbing muscles

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Bilal Hussain (left) and Abdul Iftikhar (right) celebrate reaching the highest peak in Britain

Bilal Hussain (left) and Abdul Iftikhar (right) celebrate reaching the highest peak in Britain


Ifty and Bilal climb Ben Nevis and raise over £4000 for Bradford homeless kitchen

A group of enthusiastic fundraisers decided that it'd be really great fun to do a challenging cardio putting their legs into overtime by climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Abdul Iftikhar, fondly called Ifty and Bilal Hussain decided to get some much-needed funds in for the homeless in Yorkshire.

ADVENTUROUS: Ifty and Bilal along with the team camped at the base of the mountain

ADVENTUROUS: Ifty and Bilal along with the team camped at the base of the mountain


Ifty, of Kamrans Solicitors, who has previously sat in the top one per cent of fundraisers recognised by JustGiving. He was moved by the dedication of the volunteers at Bradford Community Kitchen, a local community organisation which feeds and offers emotional and practical support to homeless and vulnerable people.

Bradford Community Kitchen headed by Abdul Satar, Leslie Semmens, Anne Marie Higgins and Sabrina Mustafa, do a big feed every Sunday 3pm-5pm at the Millside Centre based on Grattan Road. They currently provide food and hot drinks to one hundred people a week.

CHEQUE PLEASE: Abdul Iftikhar and Bilal Hussain with the rest of the team presented the charity funds raised to a very grateful Leslie Semmens and Abdul Satar

CHEQUE PLEASE: Abdul Iftikhar and Bilal Hussain with the rest of the team presented the charity funds raised to a very grateful Leslie Semmens and Abdul Satar


"We have seen the invaluable work that the volunteers at the community kitchen undertake week in and week out," says Ifty.

"It is a real shame that in this day and age people are reliant upon such services. This demonstrates that the Government's socioeconomic policies are failing the inner cities, particularly in the North of the country.

"The Bradford Community Kitchen has volunteers from different backgrounds, who are doing a splendid job and the organisation has a 100% donation policy."

With Bilal responsible for all the logistics for the Ben Nevis climb, the fundraisers set themselves a target of raising £3,000 in just two weeks.

Of course, with the likes of Ifty in the team, who in December last year climbed Mount Snowden in Wales raising £7,585 for a Leeds children's cancer support charity, they managed to smash the £3000 goal raising a final total of £4,128.29.

Ifty had high praise for Gotyasize Boxercise Fighting Fit Club, at the Girlington Community Centre in Bradford, as an organisation that keeps people of all ages off the streets and occupied in fitness.

"Bilal Hussain has been running this community gym for over ten years with no financial support from local authorities.

"It is supported by sponsors including Kamrans Solicitors, Rajas, Pakistan Catering, Move Up properties and Quote Us Financial Services."

Kamrans Solicitors in Leeds sponsors the Bradford Community Kitchen on a monthly basis along with a number of other local organisations including the Millside Centre, Rajas of Great Horton Road, Pakistan Catering of Beckside Road, Regal Food Products Plc, Icestone Gelatos, Shalimar Catering, Sweet Centre on Lumb Lane, Sunrise Catering, Good and Co Solicitors amongst others.

Enter 2018 ITU World Triathlon Leeds with exclusive charity window

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Entries for next year's ITU World Triathlon Leeds have opened with an exclusive charity entry window for participants to secure their entry by committing to raise money for Gold Charity Partners, Bloodwise and Bone Cancer Research Trust.

The third edition of the Leeds based event takes place on 9 and 10 June 2018 and the time-limited entry window offers the swim, bike and run community the chance to guarantee their entry into the most prestigious triathlon in Great Britain.

In return for committing to raising the minimum fundraising target of £400, entrants will be able to take advantage of lower entry prices for individual sprint and standard distance events as well as relay options.

The charity window will close on 24 September at midnight before past participants and British Triathlon Home Nation members have their own priority entry window ahead of entries going on general sale on 9 October 2018.

Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon added: "It's great to launch charity entries for our two Gold Charity Partners for the ITU World Triathlon Leeds 2018, just over 100 days since we were in the city watching the world's best and over 3,000 age-group athletes earlier this year.

"In 2018, we are aiming to build on this year's successful delivery and aim to make the overall event a world-leading triathlon experience. Leeds is a city with triathlon at its heart and the team at British Triathlon can't wait to welcome the triathlon community back next June."

British Triathlon recently announced this year's event will host the British Age-Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships and official qualification event for the Great Britain Age-Group Team for the 2019 ETU Triathlon European Championships, ensuring the charity entry window offers potential participants the chance to get their entry secured at the first opportunity.

The 2018 event has a triathlon distance to suit all abilities with first-timers inspired by local heroes Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee and Olympic silver medallist Jonathan Brownlee able to sign up for a fun-filled GO TRI event in and around Roundhay Park on Saturday 9 June.

A new addition to the schedule is a 400m and 750m SH2OUT swim. This new event aims to encourage more participants in open water swimming one of triathlon's biggest barriers to entry and offers the chance to take part in a timed swim in Waterloo Lake on Saturday 9 June.

Entries for both the GO TRI events and SH2OUT swims will open on Monday 25 September 2017.

As per the 2017 edition, British Triathlon is proud to once again be organising the event and will continue working with a team of experts to deliver another outstanding race for participants. In 2017, 95% of competitors said they would recommend the event to a friend and the British Triathlon organising team is already working on making the overall event experience even better.

The official 2018 course for sprint and standard is still to be confirmed, however little change is expected from the successful 2017 routes that began with a swim in Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park before a bike route taking participants towards Headingley before returning to Roundhay Park where they will once again rack their bikes in a single transition hub hosted in the park.

The final leg for sprint and standard distance events will see participants embark on a run towards the city centre where they will experience the huge crowds on the Headrow before finishing in front of a packed grandstand on the famous blue carpet.

Once the mass participation events have concluded, participants can relax in the Event Village or alongside the course in the city centre for free and enjoy watching the world's best triathletes compete in the ITU World Triathlon Series event.

The ITU World Triathlon Leeds 2018 is supported by National Lottery funding and is organised by British Triathlon, in partnership with Leeds City Council, UK Sport and the ITU.

Girls on a mission: Friends aim to raise £6,000 to deliver aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey

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AID VOLUNTEER: Samaira Iqbal (left) hopes to meet the £6000 target and return to Reyhanli with food and survival packets for families at the Syrian border

AID VOLUNTEER: Samaira Iqbal (left) hopes to meet the £6000 target and return to Reyhanli with food and survival packets for families at the Syrian border


Two dedicated fundraisers, having previously delivered aid to Syrian refugees in Reyhanli, are on a mission to raise a further £6000 to buy essentials for families desperate for help out there.

Reyhanli, a small Turkish town, near the Syrian border, is home to thousands of Syrian refugees, many of whom live in appalling conditions, such as abandoned incomplete houses, shelters and tents.

Close friends Samaira Iqbal (33) and Shabnam Naz (34), having previously delivered aid in Reyhanli in February this year, will return to carry out similar humanitarian duties during the first week of October.

Samaira, a psychological wellbeing practitioner, said: “After witnessing first-hand, the monumental difference everyone’s donations made on our last trip, we have decided to return to Reyhanli in October.

COMMITTED: Shabnam Naz says she can’t stop thinking about the people displaced from their homes in Syria

COMMITTED: Shabnam Naz says she can’t stop thinking about the people displaced from their homes in Syria


“We have a joint fundraising target of £6,000 which will be used to purchase essential food items to feed the families most in need.

“During our time in Reyhanli, we were shocked at the conditions some people live in. We saw the difference our presence made to people and they knew they hadn't been forgotten and that we care. More importantly, the people only have access to food via charities, which is why it's vital to raise the funds and replenish the food to ensure they don't go hungry.

"We are passionate about aid work and want to make a difference, and if we can bring a smile to even one person’s face, then it's all worth it.

“It was a very eye-opening, life-changing experience.”

Once there, the volunteers, both from Rochdale, will help pack over 1,000 food aid boxes and deliver them to refugees in tent camps, orphanages, family centres, villages and rehabilitation centres for those physically injured by war.

Shabnam added: “Since we have returned, we cannot stop thinking about the most beautiful kind-hearted people we met there, every single person we encountered touched our hearts to the very core.

“The children, the mothers, the families, were all so full of love and warmth. We will never forget their smiles, cuddles and laughter, despite having lost their homes and loved ones.

“The patience, compassion, love and warmth radiated by the beautiful Syrian people completely captured our hearts and we have fully left them behind in Reyhanli.”

A £25 parcel will feed a family of five for up to ten days and contains: rice, bulgur wheat, green and red lentils, vermicelli, spaghetti, kidney beans, chickpeas, tea, sunflower and olive oils, sugar, and semolina.

To donate, visit:

Mercy for mankind: Youngsters aim to surpass £500,000 fundraising effort

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The largest youth organisation in Britain with some 700 members, some as young as five-years-old, took part in a £500,000 fundraising effort.

Members of the AMYA from Bradford as well youth from all across the country held its 'Mercy for Mankind' Charity Challenge on Saturday 19th August in Fitz Park, Keswick.

This year welcomes the 33rd Charity Challenge, which first began in 1985. The group says that the purpose of all these activities is to engender the spirit of discipline and service to the wider community irrespective of people’s beliefs, race, or gender.

Their motto ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ underpins this ethos.

Since its inception AMYA has raised in excess of £2 million for UK charities. The event is generally hosted in a different location each year, with previous locations including the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Hampshire and the Yorkshire Dales.

UK charities to benefit from the fundraising include The Royal British Legion, Save the Children, NSPCC, Barnardos, CLIC Sargent, UNICEF, British Red Cross, Cumbria Community Foundation and others.

Wadood Daud, Regional youth leader for North East said: “We raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every year for British charities. This year again, many of us are travelling to the Lake for the Mercy for Mankind Charity Challenge to raise funds for the most needy in our society without any distinction of faith, colour or creed.”

"The annual charity challenge is the highlight of the year. This year the half marathon in the Lake District was fantastic, a proper challenge in a lovely part of the world! And all that whilst raising thousands of for British charities- its really is one of the best annual events for me,” commented Qasim Amini.

Nasrullah Saeed said: "During the charity challenge, a lady asked me what was taking place and when I told here about the charity walk she donated some money and she thanked me as well for taking part.

“She already knew about our youth organisation because of our flood relief work last year and she was also very happy to see us again. I really enjoyed the positive and welcoming atmosphere."

Daring Dylan climbs mountain for orphans

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DETERMINED: 7-year-old Dylan Avtar watched a movie about orphans and decided he wanted to make them happy by giving them toys

DETERMINED: 7-year-old Dylan Avtar watched a movie about orphans and decided he wanted to make them happy by giving them toys

Seven-year-old boy wonder raises £2,500 for children in just two days after scaling England’s highest mountain

A seven-year-old boy from Leeds has raised £2,500 for orphans by climbing 3,209-feet on England’s highest mountain following inspiration from a film he watched.

Little Dylan Avtar decided that he wanted to raise £1000, after he watched called ‘Norbit’, which is about children in an orphanage. So moved was the primary school kiddo that he got hooked on the idea of raising money for orphanages.

The cute-faced Dylan, appreciating that he has a “mummy and daddy”, turned around to his parents and said that he wanted to help orphans as well as disabled and “really poorly” children by giving them toys and presents.

Dylan’s dad says he was completely blown-away with his seven-year-old son’s idea - Dylan had even offered to help his dad at work, doing a summer job.

It was at his dad’s work that he came up with the idea to walk up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, after he heard about it.

As the idea for Dylan’s fundraising progressed, the family decided that any funds raised should be allocated to orphanages in India, Pakistan and Britain, marking the 70-years Independence Day anniversaries for both countries.

Daring Dylan who scaled England’s highest mountain raising thousands for charity.

Daring Dylan who scaled England’s highest mountain raising thousands for charity.

It was Dylan’s aim to raise £1000, and he set up his just giving page just two days before the walk itself. Incredibly, within just a few days he completely smashed his target.

Embarking on a climb that most would chicken out of, Dylan completed the mammoth walk with his two sisters Katrina, 5 and Davina, 10 as well as his parents and a few other volunteers on Saturday 19th August.

As the walk went on the weather conditions deteriorated drastically, but this didn’t deter determined Dylan who wanted to push on and carry on to the finish.

The beginners were halfway up by the time the more experienced novices were on their way back down.

There were horrendous weather conditions with gale force winds and visibility was reduced when they were in the clouds. At this point Katrina and her mother decided like the majority of the other walkers to retreat back.

While others dropped out and made their way back to base camp, daring Dylan with his dad and sister Davina, continued towards the summit and achieved the feat of climbing England’s highest peak.

The final push was difficult with conditions that poor that even the support team were advising to abandon the walk, but this didn’t stop the determined trio.

With the final part of the walk taking in excess of an hour due to slippery stones, they eventually completed the climb.

Dylan spoke of his experience and what he encountered on the walk he said: “It was fun and tiring, going up was fun because you could see animals like sheep and cows.

“When we reached the top, we were in the clouds and it was very cold, there was a stone wall at the top with steps and I climbed up there and got to the top. When you got up there and looked behind you it was quite scary. It was very windy and blowing quite heavy in my face and nearly pushed me over.

“Coming down was fun as you could walk on the grass and this was better as you could get more grip in your sticks.

“My favourite bit was walking up where there was a dome because you could slide down on the rocks. We saw the highest lake in England, we had to climb over rocks running through a stream, some people couldn’t get over it.”

The charity walk was sponsored by CC Continental Supermarket who provided all the equipment used on the day including clothing and walking boots. Tania and Manoj from the local chemist also sponsored the support team with First Aid supplies, while Asian Express sponsored the transport.

Now, Dylan has now decided he wants to carry on with his challenges and has set his sights on climbing the challenging  4,435-foot Ben Nevis in Scotland, which is the highest mountain in the country.

Dylan’s Challenge will be airing on Sky TV’s Sikh channel in September.

Children pull off biggest-ever fundraiser for Huddersfield children’s hospice

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When the fundraising team at Huddersfield-based Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice had the idea of challenging local children to raise money for the hospice, they were unprepared for the scale of their response.

“I said in the office that it would be great if we could raise just £80,” recalls Lynsey Marshall. “We could never have imagined they would actually raise over £80,000 – and that’s before we add in the Gift Aid, which will amount to a further £10,000 at least.

“This is the most successful campaign we’ve ever run by far! It just shows you how children respond to the idea of other children who are in need.”

The idea was to ask local schoolchildren to do a sponsored ‘Around the World Challenge’ by walking either a mile (primary schools) or two miles (secondary schools) and seeing how their miles added up compared to the circumference of the Earth, which is 24,901 miles. Could they, collectively, walk around the world? In the event, over 25,000 children, in 80 schools, youth groups and uniformed brigades across West Yorkshire threw themselves into the challenge and spanned the Earth with ease.

Word of the walk quickly spread to other schools and groups, including junior sports groups, uniformed groups and faith organisations, who also joined in.

Young people of every age and ability signed up to the challenge, from nursery schools to colleges and even special schools. It became clear that the children felt very moved by the work the hospice carries out.

Sweet success: Confectionary initiative raises £51,000 for Pakistan orphanage

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A team from Bradford has had an insanely successful month of fundraising this Ramadan, after selling £51,000 worth of chocolate fudge cakes in order to raise money for the Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT).

A cheque for more than £51,000 was handed over by 41-year-old Nadeem Malik and his team of fundraisers from Bradford, who sold cakes during Ramadan.

Nadeem was one of several volunteers who helped distribute chocolate fudge cakes, bought from Sea Fresh, in Bradford, and sold around the country.

The profits were to go towards KORT orphanage, in the Mirpur region, and a cheque for £51,650 has now been handed over.

KORT is a non-profit charity organisation that provides food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education for almost 200 orphans, including children who were orphaned by the devastating earthquake of 2005 and the floods of 2010.

The orphanage was started by Mohammed Akhtar after an earthquake devastated the region in 2005 and the charity is registered in the UK.

Nadeem has visited the orphanage and seen the facilities first-hand: “We realized that there was a greater need for long term support of the children orphaned by the earthquake.

"The Kort complex has a state of the art school and high quality living accommodation for the orphans.

“The lovely thing to see is orphans from all faiths and backgrounds in this complex.

“I’d personally like to thank you to everyone who bought the cakes to help us raise so much."

Saving lives in Syria and Gaza

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DETERMINED DUO: Avid fundraiser and humanitarian Nazim Ali along with 15-year-old Sufyaan Bashir will climb three of the country’s highest peaks in 24-hours

DETERMINED DUO: Avid fundraiser and humanitarian Nazim Ali along with 15-year-old Sufyaan Bashir will climb three of the country’s highest peaks in 24-hours


Bradford duo ready to take on the Three Peaks challenge raising crucial funds

A serial volunteer and avid fundraiser who has pulled in well over £120,000 for numerous charities both here in Britain and abroad, is at it again.

This time Nazim Ali, less than eight-weeks since he raised money by completing a gruelling run whilst fasting, has paired up with a friend’s 15-year-old son Sufyaan Bashir to take on the Three Peaks challenge.

The challenge on Saturday 26th August is hoping to raise crucial funds to buy food parcels for Syrian refugees and get clean water to Gaza.

Nazim and Sufyaan, with a group of 28 others, will climb the three highest peaks in the country - Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Mount Snowdon in Wales… all in under 24-hours!

Sufyaan, a Bingley Grammar School student who lives in Keighley is a fitness fanatic. “I am excited by this challenge and know it won’t be easy - as Nazim keeps reminding me,” laughs Sufyaan.

“However, I did Mount Snowdon last year for charity and felt physically very strong. It helps that I attend regular circuit-training workout classes and am a keen rugby player in school.

“The main thing is to raise lots of money for food parcels in Syria and clean water in Gaza. I am grateful to Nazim for his support and encouragement in doing this amazing challenge. It’s time to get training and raising lots of money.”

Funds raised will be split between two projects: The food parcels for Syria, which cost £20 each, provide a family of five with 7-10 days supply of food inside war ravaged Syria and displaced Syrian refugees.

“The situation is so bad in Syria that people have been known to eat grass and dead animals to survive due to the on-going civil war which shows no sign of ending,” says Nazim.

"We will be raising money for the Dewsbury-based International humanitarian organisation, SKT Welfare which operates on 100% donation policy.

“Our target is £3,000 which will be equally split 50-50 between Syria and Gaza.

The Water for Gaza (Palestine) initiative, will introduce desalination plants that purify sea water. £83 per day will provide 50,000 litres of clean water for 70,000 Palestinians.

“Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and ongoing assaults have left the territory’s 1.8 million residents facing an imminent water crisis. Statistically around 90% of the Gaza strip’s water is undrinkable,” adds Nazim.

“Without water, no reconstruction and no rebuilding of lives can take place.

“Medicine, sanitation, hygiene, and crucial facilities that depend on water all suffer.

“Contaminated water is causing several illnesses including, renal failure, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

“Most families spend a bulk of their earnings on contaminated water. The grim water statistics are part of a recent UN report on Gaza, which says the Gaza Strip will become uninhabitable by 2020.

“SKT Welfare is a charity which does not outsource meaning they take full responsibility for the delivery of all their projects from start to finish. I have personally worked with the charity and observed their transparent approach having witnessed on my five humanitarian aid trips to the Turkish/Syrian border region in recent years.”

If you would like to help Nazim and Sufyaan hit their £3000 target, you can donate on:

Completing the Challenge and travel will be SELF-FUNDED ensuring not even a single penny will come out of your donations.

International cricket stars to play at Birkby

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SPORTING SPIRIT: Co-founder of Eshkari Foundation Tanzil Bukhari, with former England Rugby legend, team up to raise money for disabled youngsters

SPORTING SPIRIT: Co-founder of Eshaki Foundation Tanzil Bukhari, with former England Rugby legend, team up to raise money for disabled youngsters

Eshaki Foundation Charity cricket match brings legends such as Saeed Ajmal, Amir Sohail and Derek Pringle together for a T20 game

A husband-and-wife team are ready-set-go after they secured cricket greats for a charity T20 match under a cricket-carnival atmosphere – all to raise crucial funds for disabled youngsters.

Former legends such as Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Amir Sohail, England’s Derek Pringle, Saj Mahmood and Kabir Ali, along with New Zealand’s Ian O’Brien will join forces to play a game at Birkby Rose HILL CC against an Eshaki XI on Sunday 30th July.

Prior to the main match, cricket fans will have the opportunity to attend a charity dinner with the international cricket stars at Lala’s restaurant in Huddersfield.

There will also be a unique opportunity to meet and dine with Pakistan’s most successful Captain, Misbah-Ul-Haq.

The charity cricket event which is free of charge to attend is being organised by trustees and founders of the Eshaki Foundation, Tabussum and Tanzil Bukhari.

Tabassum Bukhari says: “We are very excited and looking forward to hosting the day’s events.  

“As a charity we take pride in focusing our efforts on driving impact in the UK by engaging and supporting young people. We look forward to engaging with all sections of the community and hope this event is the start of a special relationship between us.

“At The Eshaki Foundation, we believe that all young people, when given the right support and opportunities, can and do make lasting contributions to their communities.

Key social and life skills fostered through the power of sport coupled with a joint commitment to achieve an education deliver the core values we promote.

“To help us to achieve this we focus on three main areas: Providing young people with support and development opportunities; encouraging young people with disabilities to effectively express themselves and creating a platform to drive social acceptance of young girls/women.”

Hosting this event with a galaxy of former international cricket stars will provide the Eshaki Foundation the platform to showcase the charity and raise much-needed funds to support its endeavours.

Tanzil Bukhari comments: “As a family-funded and run charity, we have been supporting many causes over the years. We feel the time is right to take both the charity and its goals to the next level.

“This event is the start of that journey for Eshaki Foundation and so we are extremely thankful to Birkby Rose Hill Cricket Club and all of our sponsors for their support.’


For further information on the Eshaki Foundation and the event please visit the website:



Tickets for the dinner at Lala’s are available on site and start from £25



‘Day of Memory Conference’ remembers British victims of honour killings

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CAMPAIGNER: Karma Nirvana founder and author, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE

CAMPAIGNER: Karma Nirvana founder and author, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE


National statistics show that South Asian women in Britain are up to three times more likely to commit suicide than their Caucasian counterparts.

Honour abuse often has multiple perpetrators (often women) from the immediate and extended family and sometimes the community at large which makes prosecutions extremely


Human Rights Charity Karma Nirvana hosted their third annual ‘Day of Memory Conference’ on July 14th to remember those lost to honour killings.

Delegates learnt how local and national partners are tackling honour-based abuse and what they are doing to prevent further honour killings in Britain.

Speakers included Karma Nirvana founder and author, Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Sarah Newton MP and West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson amongst others.

Held in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner and Leeds City Council the conference presented a unique opportunity for 200 guests to honour the memories of those killed and hear from experts and survivors.

Male and female survivors shared their experiences and explaining how the emotional and physical abuse of honour crimes can quickly escalate to significant risks, disownment and ultimately murder

Delegates were given insight that victims of honour killings are not determined by age, gender, sexuality or religion as well as how to recognise extreme behaviour and best practice in tackling it.

There are an estimated 12 honour killings each year in the UK although the exact number is unknown. In 2016 over 7,000 calls (600 calls per month) were made to Karma Nirvana’s helpline from victims and professionals seeking guidance.

The Day of Memory was inspired by Bradford-born Shafilea Ahmed who was murdered by her parents in 2003 after suffering years of abuse for becoming ‘too westernised’. A commemorative birthday cake was presented during the conference to mark what would have been Shafilea’s 31st birthday.

Leeds City Council signed a city pledge and leading the way nationally to become a beacon of best practice developing a strategy and commitment to tackling these abuses across the city and will be the first to commit in this way. It is hoped other councils will follow suit.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE said: “In almost 25 years of campaigning I have rarely heard from families or communities speaking out against the horror of honour killings, so who remembers the victims?

“Each year on July 14th we do. We celebrate victim’s lives and remember them as the most honourable of beings.”

The UN report that there are approximately 5,000 honour killings around the world each year, though theactual number is believed to be much higher.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE has been a campaigner for 24 years and is the author of several books including The Sunday Times bestseller, ‘Shame’. She featured in the award-winning documentary ‘Honour Diaries’, and her TEDx talk on YouTube has over 62,000 views.

Blood donor bonanza: Charity Sewa Day has helped increase the national average of Indian Asian’s that give blood by 37%

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Harkishan Mistry giving at event earlier this year

Harkishan Mistry giving at event earlier this year


A proud Yorkshire man has played a key role in educating the Asian community about registering to give blood and made a massive impact on national figures.

Since becoming the first UK project manager for Sewa Day last October, Harkishan Mistry has worked tirelessly along with other volunteers to get 300 new Asian’s donors registered this year.

He has been set with a challenge of getting that figure up to 1500 new donors by next April.

Harkishan is currently working with the NHS to get a list of 12 new venues risk assessed so they can be used for blood donation.

As he explains the trouble is getting people to attend donor centres: “People are quiet reluctant to go, but if they were able to register at a temple it would be more accessible.

“Once you get people through the door and registered on the donor list they can be chased up.”

He has been part of the Sewa Day since 2010 which has various projects with schools, community groups, councillors, and homeless groups.

The aim is to encourage individuals, voluntary groups, schools, and companies to commit their time to doing a good deed with an aim of making a positive difference to someone else’s happiness be carried on the day building.

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Sewa means selfless service. Sewa is a universal concept, which involves performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward.

Although called ‘Sewa Day’ it isn’t just about one day, it’s about imbibing the values of ‘Sewa’ in to your life to serve others selflessly.

As it is so easy to sign to be a donor Harkishan hope more people will continue to do so: “You ring the 0300 number or go online and register answer a few simple questions then book an appointment and fill out a health and safety form.

“If everything is alright and the doctor gives you the ok then you give 20 minutes of your time to give blood.

“It is simple and quick and a much needed in our community.”

Since the age of 21 Harkishan has been a voluntary leader for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, and has been responsible for organising a range of cultural and physical activities for weekly meetings of the Bradford Branch.

For the last ten years Harkishan has run the Govindbhai Foundation a family-run registered charity that hosts annual events raising over £144,000 to support disadvantaged children in the UK and India.

To sign up and donate blood you can either ring 0300 123 23 23 or register online at:

Medics ready to bowl over the competition

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Registrars and Consultants go head-to-head in charity cricket match at Headlingley

Yorkshire’s Orthopedic registrars are looking to leave their consultant counterparts stumped as they match up in a charity cricket match in aid of St. Gemma’s hospice.

The event, which takes place on 1st July at Glen Road Cricket ground in Headingley, is hoping to attract many families who are being encouraged to bring picnics and bask in the sun while watching the cricket drama unfold.

The match sees the Yorkshire Orthopedic Consultants take on the Registrars all in aid of charity with all proceeds and money raised going directly to St. Gemma’s hospice. It costs £9million a year to keep the hospice running.

Organised by Captain of the Registrar Team Dr Syed Bokhari said: “Once a year we look to create a charity event and this year we have chosen to play cricket and hope it continues for years to come.

“We chose St Gemma’s hospice because we felt that it was a righteous cause, we have players coming from Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull and York, giving, everyone is doing it for free.

“There’s only so much we can do, that’s why we created this charity match which we hope will be a fun filled family day with lots of money raised for a very worthy charity, we want people to embrace the event and we are trying to build a community feel.”

Syed who himself is a surgeon, trains around the Leeds region and has worked in York and Harrogate since 2010. Giving a bit more background about the event, he said: “There are around 300 bone surgeons in Yorkshire who deal with bone cancer amongst other bone-related cases.

“The Orthopedic Network has completely funded the event including the fee for the pitch.

“We want to ensure 100% of money raised goes directly to the charity. There are free refreshments including teas and ice-cream and free bouncy castle. It’s not about who wins but raising money for a worthy cause.”

The event is set to start at 10am and will finish at around 6pm. Everyone is welcome to go along and watch with entrance free for all.

Return of the Ramadan Runner: Bradford man completes fourth 10K run whilst fasting for 18-hours

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Fundraising hero Nazim Ali slam-dunked it again this year for the Jane Tomlinson ‘Run For All Hull 10K’ – all under the hot sun at 28 degrees and all whilst fasting.

The Hull 10K marked it’s eighth year on Sunday 18th June, with a record number of 5000 runners braving the sun –baked-day. Nazim, who Asian Express have fondly given the title of ‘Ramadan Runner’, completed the gruelling run in just one hour and 17 seconds to complete.

A minute's silence was held for the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy prior to the race, which created a real sombre community feel for everyone running.

Enjoying the scenic route, participants ran past some of Hull's iconic landmarks landmarks such as Guildhall, Victoria Park, the Deep (aquarium) and reached the finish line on Whitefriargate.

Nazim spoke highly of the Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017: “There was a wonderful carnival atmosphere with people lining the streets encouraging the runners on and the thoughtful residents were even using their hoses to cool the runners down, I just hope their water bills are not too high!”

“Different faith groups and ethnicities came together to collectively show their respect for the victims and the bravery of our emergency services.

But Nazim admits that this year’s run has been the most difficult to date.

“Fasting whilst doing a 10K run really was a gruelling challenge for the body, and never have I craved water as much as I did during and after the race,” confesses Nazim.

“In 2014 and 2015 I ran the Leeds 10K and the following year the Gateshead 10K but this was by far the hardest.

“There wasn't much shade on the route which meant the heat was zapping your energy levels and I still had eleven hours after I completed the run before I opened my fast which meant no access to water or drink.”

“I literally had to dig deep into my soul to complete the run and the wonderful crowd kept encouraging me – cheering me on - bless them.”

This was the Bradford careers officers fourth consecutive year completing a 10k during Ramadan and Nazim has raised over an epic £34,000. Over the last eleven years Nazim has done huge amounts of charity work and volunteering, raising almost £115,000 for both local and global causes.


Record-breaker Bajwa at it again

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Mubzz Bajwa completes 12-hour Fast Feed for charity but also to show how faiths and communities can come together

Mubzz Bajwa is no stranger to pushing his body to the limit, having already completed three Guinness World Records in one day. However, this time he has gone even further for charity.

The fitness enthusiast who recently who currently holds a number of Guinness World Records, really pushed his body to the limit by completing what was called ‘Fast Feed 12’. For 12 hours, he completed fasted pad work during Ramadan with no food or water.

The event which was completed on May 28th was done to raise money for Trussell Trust who are a network of foodbanks in the UK for the homeless. A charity which his 12 hour Thai boxing pad work has raised just under £2000 so far.

But he also wanted to raise a powerful message to show how different faiths and the community can come together and help each other at a particularly challenging time.

Mubz said: “I think it’s important that people in this country understand the powerful message of communities and different faiths and religions coming together.”

The process wasn’t easy for Mubz, who admitted that it was difficult from training to the end of the event. He said: “Training was difficult it involved a lot of steady walking up to 10 miles to get my legs used to being stood up for so long.”

The event itself had Mubz questioning his decision and admitted that there were stages he didn’t know if he would complete it he said: “I started at 9:00am and the first hour was so difficult, I wanted to cry.”

“From 10am I built a steady rhythm and I had a paramedic on site at all time, with regular medicals, one being at 2:00pm as well as one the night before the event.”

However, around half way through his ordeal he started picking up medical issues Mubz explained. “From 4:00PM my blood sugars dropped, while my blood pressure and heart rate were up.”

“Then later my blood sugars were at critical levels while my blood pressure and heart rate were now through the roof, the paramedic told me to stop but I carried on putting my life on the line, it was pretty much suicidal, putting my life at risk till I finished at 9PM.”

Mubz isn’t satisfied with completing this however and already has his next events in the pipeline he explained: “The next few events are already semi planned with a documentary approached to go abroad so there are options.”

“The next few events will be dangerous, I am very excited. This will raise eyebrows.”

Mubz also commented about how after the event many faiths and races combined to break fast together and that this was the importance of the event and message he wanted to get across to the public, how all different faiths, races and religions must stay united.

Fancy a choc fudge treat? Bradford duo takes on the challenge to shift tasty confectionary by the tonne for a sweet cause

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SWEET: Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have been selling chocolate cakes to locals to raise money for charity

SWEET: Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have been selling chocolate cakes to locals to raise money for charity


Two Bradford heroes have been overloaded with choc fudge cakes during the last couple of weeks, and you’d be forgiven thinking it was all to satisfy the whims of a having a sweet tooth.

Dedicated duo Abdul Satar and Amjad Akram have tirelessly been selling the yummy confectionary, all in aid to raise crucial funds to help improve the lives of innocent blind children.

But, this isn’t the first time they’ve committed to such a task. The pair have been doing charity work for a number of years and last year raised over £20,000 for AKAB school for the blind which is a children’s charity in Pakistan which aims to give hope to blind orphans in the country, who they are again raising money for.

Abdul and Amjad have once again already raised thousands of pounds for the project, and have now stepped-up the ‘sweet fundraising activity’ during the month of Ramadan.

With the cakes supplied by renowned Bradford business Seafresh, Abdul from the Office Furniture Company and Amjad of Letz Talk have been selling the cakes by knocking on doors and businesses, and using social media to plug the campaign.

“We deliver the cakes to people’s doors at £10 each and all the profits we raise go straight to the charity,” comments Amjad.

“We are doing this throughout Ramadan, but there are no hard set goals - whatever we raise is what we raise, they are only a small charity and can often be overlooked.

“It’s imperitive that we think of those less fortunate than us during this special month in the holy calendar.”

AKAB who’s mission statement is ‘to honour, empower the blind community by identification, education and employment’, have an enrolment of over 150 male and female students, which is funded through volunteers and fundraising.

So far, the charity-loving pair have sold over 800 cakes.

“All money from the sale of each cake is going directly to the charity,” adds Abdul.

“Is a very rewarding experience knowing that we’ve done something to assist the lives of young blind children.”

Abdul also carries out weekly charity work through his own local initiative Bradford Community Kitchen Centre for homeless people every Sunday from the Millside Centre in Grattan Road.

If you would like to buy a cake and help this cause, you can contact either Abdul on 07888693196 or Amjad on 07956566666.

MAN ON A MISSION: 2,400 food parcels distributed to refugees on Turkish/Syrian border

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“For me that is the best part just seeing them smile and taking their mind off the horrors no child should witness”

A good Samaritan from Bradford who self-funded a Ramadan food aid trip to the Turkish border has returned home and says the immense gratefulness of displaced Syrians moved him to the core.

Nazim Ali, who has been raising funds for both local and overseas charities over the past 19-years made his fifth humanitarian trip to the Turkish/Syrian border with Dewsbury-based international humanitarian organisation SKT Welfare last month.

Raising a whopping £100,000 for this particular Ramadan mission, SKT Welfare sent out 21 members of the team to distribute hundreds of essential food parcels, each feeding a family of five for thirty days.

Nazim himself raised £16,479 for Syrian refugees for this trip, making his personal total raised for a plethora of charitable causes so far, at an all time high at over £100,000.

“We packed and distributed almost 2,400 food parcels, and I also took a suitcase full of toys for Syrian refugee children, which I distributed to Syrian orphans,” says Nazim.

“The intense six-day aid delivery trip consisted of a gruelling challenge in the blazing heat up to 38 degrees, and then just three or four hours sleep a day, if that.”

The passionate team distributed food parcels to the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli, which is 25-miles from war torn Aleppo. People have sought refuge in makeshift tents and partially built homes.

“Nothing has improved in terms of the living conditions of Syrian refugees since my very first visit four years ago,” states Nazim.

“You know the situation on the ground is dire when children do not have appropriate footwear or clothing and when it is torn and dirty.

“They ration the little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible, as they often have large combined families of up to 12 people living in one-room accommodation.

“Other refugees are living in almost underground caves - premises which you wouldn't deem fit enough for animals let alone humans!

“For me helping those in need, irrespective of religious affiliation or ethnicity, is a religious obligation as a devout British Muslim, and that’s what keeps me going.

“I visited Istanbul (Turkey) and came across so many Syrian refugees seeking monetary assistance. Small children as young as five-years-old are selling tissues at road-side so they can help earn a living and provide for their families, often working until midnight.”

Nazim says seeing, first-hand, the horrific injuries some children have sustained is hugely distressing .

“My heart literally sunk when I saw loss of limbs on particularly children and young people and hearing their harrowing stories on how they suffered such devastating injuries.”

The dedicated aid worker says that it was heart-rendering to see the Syrian children smiling and elated at receiving the toys that he gave them.

“For me that is the best part just seeing them smile and taking their mind off the horrors no child should witness due to the brutal on-going Syrian conflict which is into it's sixth year and shows no sign of ending.

“The suffering of the Syrian people both internally and externally displaced is continuing and is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War 2.

“I am grateful to the on-going support of the British public, as I often say it is through their kind support and generosity that I am able to do what I do on the ground.

“What sticks in my mind and is the reason I go back taking my annual leave from work is when Syrian refugees have said to me, 'We feel abandoned by the world buy you have left your family (3,000 miles away in the UK) to help us and that means ever so much to us.'

“The Syrian refugees were really surprised when I informed them that the donations from the Ramadan food parcels was from both Muslim and non-Muslim people.

“They have asked me to convey their greetings to you and to convey their appreciation and gratitude for donating towards the food parcels.”

Kids raise £1,300

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Over 50 children from Huddersfield, Spenvalley and Sheffield put on their trekking books to raise money for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice. The walk formed part of AMYA’s annual ‘Mercy4Mankind’ campaign, which includes regular homeless feeding sessions, tree planting and hospital and care home visits.

Over 50 children from Huddersfield, Spenvalley and Sheffield put on their trekking books to raise money for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice. The walk formed part of AMYA’s annual ‘Mercy4Mankind’ campaign, which includes regular homeless feeding sessions, tree planting and hospital and care home visits.

Everything you need to know about being deaf aware

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National charity Action on Hearing Loss is urging people to abandon any stereotypes they might have about the 11 million people living with hearing loss in the UK and help bridge the communication gap for Deaf Awareness Week.

According to the charity, more than 900,000 people in the UK are severely deaf; 24,000 use sign language as their main language; and due to our ageing population by 2035 it is estimated that 15.6 million people will have some form of hearing loss.

During this week, May 15 to 21, the charity is asking people to help stop the prejudice that many of those with hearing loss still experience when out and about, in the workplace and meeting new people.

Senior audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss, Gemma Twitchen, said: “Hearing Loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to loud noises, virus or disease, aging and it can be inherited.

“Small changes in our lives can make a big impact on people with hearing loss, so let this be the week you forget all the stereotypes you’ve heard and just make some new friends.”

For more information about Deaf Awareness Week visit  and use #DeafAwarenessWeek on Twitter. More content will be available through Twitter on @ActionOnHearing and on Facebook.



Here are some useful tips from Action on Hearing Loss you can use

  • Even if someone is wearing hearing aids it doesn't mean they can hear you perfectly. Ask if they need to lipread.
  • Speak clearly but not too slowly, and don't exaggerate your lip movements – this can make it harder to lipread.
  • Don't shout. It can be uncomfortable for hearing aid users and it looks aggressive.
  • If someone doesn't understand what you've said, don't keep repeating it. Try saying it in a different way instead.
  • Check that the person you're talking to is following you during the conversation. Use plain language and don't waffle. Avoid jargon and unfamiliar abbreviations.
  • To make it easy to lipread, don’t cover your mouth with your hands or clothing.
  • If you’re going on a date at a restaurant, find a suitable place to talk, with good lighting and away from loud speakers and distractions.
  • Get the listener's attention before you start speaking, maybe by waving or tapping them on the arm.
  • Use natural facial expressions and gestures.
  • Make sure you have face-to-face contact with the person you are talking to.
  • If someone is working with a BSL interpreter, always remember to talk directly to the person you are communicating with, not the interpreter.
  • If you're talking to a group that includes deaf and hearing people, don't just focus on the hearing people.



Brothers with congenital heart disease depend on children’s charity

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11-year-old Usman and 13-year-old need to have their blood tested four times a week and can do this at home with the INR testing kit provided by children’s charity CHSF in Leeds

11-year-old Usman and 13-year-old need to have their blood tested four times a week and can do this at home with the INR testing kit provided by children’s charity CHSF in Leeds


25% of all young patients receiving life-saving heart surgery in Yorkshire are of Asian background and the charity is calling out for  YOUR help

Adam and Usman are two brothers from Bradford. Born two years apart, they both have congenital heart disease. The condition was spotted before they were born, at their 20-week scans and both boys were delivered at the Leeds General Infirmary. They each had open heart surgery when they were just a few days old.

Now aged 13 and 11, Adam and Usman have each had three open heart surgeries. They take regular doses of the drug warfarin to thin their blood and must have their blood tested as often as four times a week.

Thanks to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), an award-winning charity supporting the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary, the boys have been given an INR testing kit. This piece of equipment enables the family to test the boys blood at home, at a time convenient and most comfortable for them.

400 children receive open heart surgery in Leeds every year and another 10,000 pass through the unit as outpatients. 25% of all young patients are from the South Asian population in Yorkshire, the Humber and North Lincolnshire.

Masood, Adam and Usman’s father, said: “Having the INR kits has had a very positive impact on our family. It is convenient, given us peace of mind, and has saved us hundreds of pounds.

“It’s great that the boys can test their blood at home when they feel most comfortable doing so. They are really happy boys and live life to the full.

“Because of the CHSF and the equipment we’ve been given, our children don’t need to miss school or us take time off from work for regular blood testing.”

Now, CHSF is asking the generous Asian Express readers for donations over Ramadan to help support children and adults living with congenital heart disease across Yorkshire.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund provides funds to support family accommodation at the hospital, staff positions and training, vital resources for the ward and clinical research.

Hanif Malik, Volunteer Children’s Heart Surgery Fund Trustee said: “Ramadan is partly a period of reflection for those less fortunate than us and Children’s Heart Surgery Fund are a crucial and life-giving support for all congenital heart disease patients.

“Many of the patients are from within the South Asian community but regardless of the background, Ramadan provides a great opportunity to help children living with this disease.

“Our Islamic principles encourage us to support such worthy causes so please donate generously to give them the best chance at a full and happy life.”

The charity also funds life-saving equipment to save and improve children’s lives. This equipment can range from hi-tech state-of the-art machines providing life-saving care, to hand-held devices the patients can take home.

With your support, they can continue to provide the equipment, staff and facilities to help improve the lives of other congenital heart patients within our community.   

You can help us to save lives of congenital heart disease patients right now, and keep the LGI at the forefront of cardiac care for the future. To donate, visit our website at, text CHSF17 £10 to 70070 or call 0113 392 5742.

All the staff and volunteers of Children’s Heart Surgery Fund wish all Muslim Asian Express readers "Ramadan Mubarak!"

Asian Sports Foundation encourages young people

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PARTNERSHIP: Tony Shergill (left) and Jug Johal (right) committed to providing sporting benefits to minority ethnic communities

PARTNERSHIP: Tony Shergill (left) and Jug Johal (right) committed to providing sporting benefits to minority ethnic communities


The Asian Sports Foundation (ASF) has begun an innovative new partnership to encourage and engage young people to adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle.

A UK based Charity campaigning for equality and inclusion for Asian communities in sport, ASF's vision is to promote and deliver tangible projects, breaking down cultural and religious barriers and provide sporting benefits to minority ethnic communities.

Partnering up with Birmingham based Asian youth channel BritAsia TV they are working together with experienced professionals and foundation ambassadors to promote sport, health and wellbeing amongst Asian communities in the UK.

The work of the Asian Sport Foundation will be scheduled in regular broadcasts to promote and educate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to its audience.

Jug Johal, Chair of the ASF says of the partnership: “We know that there are a lot of barriers for members of the Asian community to get involved in sports.

“This partnership provides us with a unique platform to showcase great work, educate audiences about health benefits and encourage debate and discussion to address perceived imbalances with regards to representation in the industry.”

BritAsia TV has since its inception focused on reaching out to younger British born Asian audiences with a mix of music and entertainment shows. This exciting new step forward in programming marks a change in direction for the channel following its recent buyout.

New MD, Tony Shergill says of the move:“We have a large and influential young audience that has a strong identity and pride in its roots. We want to tap into these audiences and start to educate, inform and engage them through positive and inspirational programming.

With its unprecedented access to marginalised communities, the Asian Sports Foundation will promote social cohesion, education and health. The foundation will campaign for sports, National Governing Bodies (NGB's) and NGO's, clubs and committees to recognise and deliver on their responsibilities for equality and inclusion for minority ethnic communities.

Johal concludes: "We are absolutely delighted and very excited about this new partnership with BritAsia TV. We will look to bring communities together and help them to become more active, more often through Sport and Physical Activity.”

ASF and BritAsia TV are currently developing programming concepts and broadcast of the new programmes are expected to commence in Summer 2017.

“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk.”

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GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families

GOOD SAMARITAN: Nazim Ali will be travelling to the Turkish-Syrian border with SKT Welfare to deliver food parcels to starving families


Bradford man on a self-funded pre-Ramadhan food aid trip

A Bradford man who is self-funding his fifth aid trip to the Turkish-Syrian border, this time to distribute Ramadhan food parcels to displaced Syrians, says he’s compelled to do what he can as the images of their desperate faces haunts him.

Devoted humanitarian Nazim Ali has raised almost £100,000 over the last 19 years for numerous charities both locally and globally, by partaking in numerous challenges such as marathons, 10K runs and mountain treks.

Now, ahead of Ramadhan on 15th May, during his annual leave as a Careers Adviser, he’ll be travelling to Reyhanli and surrounding areas to provide supplies to displaced families in the Turkish/Syrian border.

Leaving the comforts of his home for a week, Nazim - also a Non-Magistrate for the North and West Yorkshire Advisory Committee, will make his way to the Turkish-Syria border accompanied by other humanitarians from Dewsbury-based international humanitarian charity SKT Welfare.

Speaking to the Asian Express, Nazim says: “This is my fifth visit to the region for the fourth consecutive year, it is also the third consecutive annual Pre-Ramadan Aid Trip.”

“My trip is self-funded ensuring 100% of donations go towards the food parcels.

“I can tell you the situation has not changed for the displaced Syrians. Many families are living in partially built homes with no windows or doors, some are living in tents and are in need of food and water – commodities we take for granted.”

The crisis in Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency in our era, with almost three-million Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey for safety and struggling to survive

“They (Syrians) need our help. The conflict has been going on for over six-years now and sadly shows no sign of ending.

“I have heard first-hand accounts of mothers mixing water with sugar for their babies because they couldn’t afford baby milk. Large families are rationing the very little food they have so that it lasts as long as possible.”

Nazim adds that one of the primary reasons he keeps going back are the Syrian refugees who have told him that it’s not just the aid he delivers that is appreciated, but the fact that his presence gives them solace.

“They are so thankful that someone has left their family 3,000 miles away in the UK to help them.

“They say ‘we (Syrian refugees) feel the world has forgotten about us but you being here (delivering aid to us) shows us and gives us comfort that we are not alone and in our hour of need are here to support us’.

“Just as many Muslims will be fasting in Ramadhan (for up to 20-hours without food or drink), so will they.

“The only difference is that we will be opening our fasts in our homes with our loved ones and in the presence of an abundance of food. They (Syrian refugees) however will be struggling to afford basic items such as dates and water.

“Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are suffering and in desperate need of assistance. In Reyhanli alone it is estimated there are almost 80,000 externally displaced Syrian refugees.

“I am also like previous aid trips planning to, God willing, take a suitcase full of toys for the Syrian Orphans and will hopefully visit SKT Welfare’s flagship state of the art ‘Springs of Hope Orphanage and Family Centre’ in the Turkish/Syrian border town of Reyhanli.

“For the last two years I have run 10K Runs in Ramadan for the aforementioned orphanage raising over £22,000."



Nazim had requested readers of Asian Express to assist in this aid mission. People can donate on: or for further information can call 07825 698283 or e-mail: - one food pack costs £50 and consists of two parcels each weighing 20.5KG each, providing enough food for a family of five people for one month.



Faith Leaders and the Metropolitan Police unite in condemnation of terror

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The International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC), a local UK charity that works with underrepresented communities across London, extends prayers and condolences to the families and friends of all the victims of the Westminster Terror attack at a vigil on Westminster Bridge one week after the event.

ICIC has produced three short videos following the faith leaders’ vigil at Westminster Abbey. In the videos faith leaders and activists from various backgrounds express their commitment to combat hate, unite communities and to champion the religious freedoms and liberties we all benefit from in Britain.

Through these videos ICIC, along with the various activists involved, such as Imam Qari Asim MBE from Leeds Makkah Mosque and Lina Mar from the Baha‘I Community of the UK, demonstrate their condemnation of last week’s cowardly attacks and reaffirm their resolve not to let terrorism affect the rich diversity of London and Britain. ICIC continues to work with this ethos in mind, bringing communities together, united against terrorism.

Running for £24,000: Bradford’s determined fundraiser helps to raise money for cancer care

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10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford

10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford


A man from Bradford has been instrumental in raising over £24,000 for charity.

Kamlesh Patel has participated in a number of fund raising events, many of them physically challenging, and he’s showing no signs so slowing down.

Marie Curie is a charity that is very important to Kamlesh, so much so that he’s helped to raise over £9,000 for hem.

“Marie Curie needs donations to continue running its nursing service, hospices, support line and much more,” Kamlesh explained.

“Cancer touches the lives of many, young and old.

“I feel emotionally touched seeing people suffering from cancer and wanted to do something for them and their families, which will help the cancer patient’s quality of life.

“The hospice in Leeds-Bradford provides free specialist medical cancer care for people with serious and terminal illnesses and emotional support for their families, giving them the best possible quality of life.”

The hospice is a place where cancer suffers can stay, or visit regularly to receive treatment such as pain relief, physiotherapy and complimentary therapies.

“It’s a warm, welcoming place where loved ones can be together,” Kamlesh said.

“And because the hospice works hand in hand with local nurses in the community, they also help people return to their own homes and be looked after there.”

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes


The rest of the 55-year-old’s efforts have been for organisations both locally and internationally, raising money for causes like St Luke’s Hospital (Bradford), St James’s Hospital (Leeds), Oxfam, Sport Aid and the Kenya SEWA project (Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All - a Hindu faith-based humanitarian non-profit service organisation) to name just a handful.

“Fundraising is difficult, because with every challenge I do people’s expectations get higher. When I go around again asking for them to sponsor the next one they’re keen to know how I’m going to top the last challenge completed,” Kamlesh laughingly explained.

“They want me to do tougher challenges and it becomes even harder.”

Kamlesh said that marathons are very physically demanding and unpredictable.

“You don’t know what to expect on the day. Mental preparation is very important when you're running, you have to rely on yourself.”

Still, Kamlesh won’t be slowed down. He’s already planned several fundraising events for 2017, including the Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford on 2nd April and a Yorkshire Three Peaks trek, which covers an exhausting 24 miles, and includes a 5,200ft ascent.

To help Kamlesh in his tireless efforts to raise money, check out his Just Giving page at

Unstoppable humanitarian: Charity hero just can’t stop running around for the needy

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INSPIRING: Nazim Ali in his t-shirt commemorating his close friend Shah Gee, on race day

INSPIRING: Nazim Ali in his t-shirt commemorating his close friend Shah Gee, on race day

Nazim Ali completes part one of two 10k race missions

A full-time careers adviser who selflessly devotes every minute of his spare time to helping others is completing a double-header charity challenge for SKT Welfare’s ‘UK Homeless and Needy’ initiativein association with the Bradford Soup Kitchen.

Nazim Ali, who is no stranger to Asian Express, regularly involves himself voluntarily with charity fundraisers, Syria aid trips and multi-faith friendship building activities.

For over a year now UK registered charity SKT Welfare has been providing warm meals to the homeless and destitute in Bradford, regardless of their religious background. Nazim aims to raise £4,800 through completing the two races, which will see the food kitchen provide cover twice a month for a year.

Despite suffering a strain injury on his right knee both in training and on race day as well as feeling so unwell the day before the race that he spent the day recovering in bed. Nazim completed the race in a time of 01:01:11 – a truly remarkable result even without the preceding ailments.  

The race had over 2,000 competitors, the biggest ever in the history of the race and wet and windy weather and only occasional sunshine, but none the less, Nazim powered on.

Speaking about the challenge he faced, Nazim told Asian Express: “I felt emotional since the double charity challenge is in dedication to my late esteemed friend Sayyid Sharaz Ali Shah Bukhari, affectionately known as Shah Gee. He was a Bradford humanitarian hero and sadly passed away in September 2016 at the tender age of 33.

“We did many charity initiatives together. My focus now is firmly fixed on part-two of the double-header on this coming Sunday's (26th March 2017) Keighley 10K.”

To donate to the charities mentioned and help support Nazim towards his fundraising goal, you can go to:

Stick a needle in it: Bradford-man ready to donate blood for an astounding 175th time

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GRATEFUL: Long-term donor Thakorbhai Mistry with Mr Harkishan Mistry, UK Project Manager for Sewa Day

GRATEFUL: Long-term donor Thakorbhai Mistry with Mr Harkishan Mistry, UK Project Manager for Sewa Day


An unsung hero has given a whole new meaning to ‘doing your bit’ for charity.

Yorkshireman, Thakorbhai Rambhai Mistry has been giving blood for the last 36-years, donating (get ready for it) an incredible 174 units of blood in this time!

Now he’s all ready to stick a needle in it again in the hope that it will inspire people from ethnic backgrounds to donate blood and possibly save someone’s life.

Thakorbhai’s remarkable 175th donation will take place on 30th March and is tied in with the Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive.

Speaking to the Asian Express spoke to Thakorbhai, aged 62, discloses just what it is that motivates him to keep going back and what got him into blood donation in the first place.

“Whilst working in the University of Bradford in 1981, I noticed my colleague would often disappear for an hour or so and I started to ask questions as to where he was going. I was surprised to find out that he was going to donate blood,” reveals Thakorbhai.

“The University of Bradford were and still are, a really responsible employer, and were happy for their employees to take time away from their work in order to give blood.

“After having some questions initially such as, ‘Does it hurt?’ ‘Will it take a long time?’ and ‘Will I feel weak?’ I attended the next donation with the reassurance of my colleague.

“I haven’t stopped since then because I know it will benefit others, including my family and members of my wider community, especially as there is such a shortage in Black and Minority Ethnicity donors and blood types.

“I do it on a regularly because the blood I give is replenished within a few days and only takes an hour of my time.”

Mr Mistry says he has never felt unwell after giving blood and feels it’s an insurance, as it means blood is checked on a regular basis, meaning any potential illnesses could be detected.


Feeling inspired to help an incredible cause? Thakorbhai gIveS us some essential advice for first time donors

  • Go with someone you know and feel comfortable with. “Whether it’s a friend, family member or colleague, going with someone familiar will help you feel more relaxed.”
  • Being fit and healthy, looking after your diet and exercising regularly will go a long way in ensuring you have a great reaction to donating. “ I make sure I am careful with my diet and like to lead an active lifestyle, this has definitely helped me in being able to donate for such a long time. Although don’t push it too much on your donation day, you don’t want to be too tired!”
  • Find out information beforehand if you’re curious about the process. “Back in my day, there were leaflets available at the donation centre which were great for providing more information. These leaflets are still available if you go along to a centre – although you can find out everything online nowadays!”
  • It’s understandable to build up a sense fear and apprehension before going along, but there’s nothing to worry about. “Once you donate that first time and realise what amazing, life changing work that unit will do for someone, you will realise there was never anything to fear!”


Sewa Day blood donation drive

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SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston

SEWA DAY: Donors at the last Sewa Day National Blood Donation Drive in Preston


Bradford charity launch campaign to encourage Asian blood and organ donors

Did you know, that around 14% of the population of England are black or South Asian but less than 3% of people who have given blood in the last twelve months are from these communities.

Now a Bradford-based charity is on a relentless mission to change the lack of Asian blood donors and has partnered up with NHS Blood & Transplant services for ‘Sewa Day.’

Coming together to raise awareness of the shortage of Asian blood types donating blood, they hope to encourage more people to get involved taking up regular donation when possible.

The number of patients from South Asian communities on the transplant waiting list are exceptionally high, yet are hugely under-represented on NHS Organ Donor Register.

Speaking to Asian Express, Theo Clarke, National BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful that Sewa Day is working with us to help save more lives.

“South Asian patients wait longer than white patients for transplants as there are not enough suitable organs available.

“By joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and sharing your decision with your families you could save up to nine lives, if you are able to donate after your death. By becoming a blood donor, you can save up to three lives every time you donate.”

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Sewa means selfless service and on Sewa Day  individuals, voluntary groups, schools, and companies are encouraged to commit their time to doing a good deed with an aim of making a positive difference to someone else’s happiness, quality of life and prosperity.

Bharat Vadukul, Sewa Day Chairman told Asian Express: “When people from South Asian communities find out they may have rare blood and tissue types, I’m sure they will want to do everything they can to help save lives.

“There are many South Asian people who actively donate blood but we need more. I urge people to find out if they can donate blood, register online at and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. One day it could be someone you love who needs an organ transplant or a blood transfusion.”

In order to give people more information Sewa Day are running two Donor Drive events happening soon, the first on 30th March and then a second event on 30th April.

Sewa Day Donor Drive

30th March at the Bradford Blood donor Centre 11 Rawson Street, Bradford BD1 3SH

30th April at Shelf Village Hall, HX3 7NT

You can also join the NHS Organ Donor Register or become a new blood donor by calling 0300 123 23 23.


JAZ BOPARAI: Restaurateur lays on free three course charity lunch

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Yorkshire restaurateur Jaz Boparai is throwing open the doors to his Barnsley restaurant to feed elderly diners, those with disabilities and people with housing problems.

Jaz, who runs Chilli and Grille on Market Street, Barnsley, has invited 50 people to a free lunch on Thursday February 24th.

Among those invited are service users at Age UK, Bridge It Housing and the Barnsley-based organisation for adults with disability, Physical Futures.

Jaz will serve a three course meal to his VIP guests. The charities and organisations were nominated after Jaz asked his customers to propose worthy recipients.

“I’ve wanted to invite a large group of people for a free lunch for a while,” explained Jaz.

“Recently I’ve noticed more people begging and living rough in Barnsley and it made me think about what I could do to support people.

“I’m conscious that many people never get the opportunity to eat out whilst others are lonely and don’t get the opportunity to share a meal with others.”

Tracy Robinson, manager at Physical Futures, which is based in Carlton, Barnsley, added: “We believe strongly in social inclusion and everyone having the opportunity to live a purposeful life.

“The invitation from Jaz fits well with our ethos. We’re very much looking forward to visiting Chilli and Grille with some of our service users and meeting a wide range of people from across the Barnsley borough.”

Jolly green fingers: Happy diggers plant 2000 trees in less than two hours!

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Armed with their spades and wellies, over 154 energetic volunteers got stuck in the mud and begun to dig in an initiative increasing Bradford district’s woodland.

The eager green-fingered helpers from the Sant Nirankari Mission joined in the tree planting at Low Moor in Bradford, including volunteers who travelled from as far as London, Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester and Scotland.

Toddlers as young as two-years-old also took part and helped with the assistance of their parents.

The trees were planted in less than two hours.

The group at Sant Nirankari Mission regularly partakes in tree planting and environmental initiatives as it is part of its philosophy that one should keep the environment around themselves healthy and render selfless service to the community.

Mohinder Ram, volunteer in charge of the day's activities commented: “We have a great friendship with Forest of Bradford. It has been a wonderful day full of teamwork."

Ian Butterfield, Manager for Forest of Bradford said: "A huge thank you to all the volunteers from London, Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester, and Scotland, who have traveled up North to join in, it has been an overwhelming and organised day.

“Two thousand trees got planted so quick, we have a great partership with the Sant Nirankari Misson and look forward to more tree planting together!”

Many public people out walking were impressed with what the Mission was doing for the community.

Gurpreet Bhatia, Member in charge of Social Welfare at the Mission said: "We are encouraging members towards social citizenship within our communities and enhancing our responsibility towards our planet by such initiatives, we are proud of all the volunteers who took part young and old."

A community picnic was arranged at the end, which was thoroughly enjoyed alongside the lovely sunny weather.

"I enjoyed tree planting as more trees will make loveliness for the world" Sadhik Anand age 4, Leicester

“It was my first time and I enjoyed helping my mum, I am going again next time too" Sonakshi Chahal age 4, Leeds

"The long journey was worth the amount we got to help the community. 2,000 trees in 2 hours, I think my Spiritual Guide will be proud" Manu Sidhu, Oxford

No mission is impossible Dad-of-four raises a whopping £7000 despite two operations

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Principle sponsor Mohammed Zaheer, Jenny Dixon of St Gemma’s Hospice, Parvez Hussain, Councillor Mohammed Rafique and Councillor Arif Hussain

Principle sponsor Mohammed Zaheer, Jenny Dixon of St Gemma’s Hospice, Parvez Hussain, Councillor Mohammed Rafique and Councillor Arif Hussain


Just two months after surgery, a father-of-four took on the ‘tallest’ challenge yet” as he ventured up Mount Snowdon for charity.

Parvez Hussain, who has torn up the track doing a number of marathons, 10ks and triathlons in the past, completed the mammoth climb in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice and the Give a Gift initiative.

After suffering a leg injury - which required a minor surgery, and a hernia operation, Parvez had limited time to prepare for his trek but was determined to see through his commitment.

“For many years I have helped UK based charities by fundraising and have tried my very best to raise as much money as possible,” he said.

As well as receiving bundles of support from friends and family, Parvez also got local councillors in his corner, raising a whopping £7087.48.

“This is my record high in fundraising,” comments an elated Parvez.

“My previous record was £6250. Furthermore, and I got an email from JustGiving confirming I’m in the top 3% individual fundraisers for 2016. I’m totally delighted,” he adds.

“I must say a special thank you to everyone who helped me raise this incredible amount of money, and to my principle sponsor – CC Continental Supermarkets.”

Parvez’s funds have been donated to St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds, Martin House Children's Hospice, the Children's Heart Surgery Fund and a local nursery Honeybeez.

Now the avid fundraiser reveals this year he’s hoping to either climb Ben Nevis or go the extra mile by trekking the Great Wall of China for local Leeds-based charities.

Jenny Dixon, Senior Corporate Fundraiser at St Gemma’s Hospice, said: “On behalf of everyone at St Gemma’s I would like to congratulate Parvez on the fantastic achievement of climbing Mount Snowdon and for raising an amazing £4,522.48 towards our patient care.

“It costs £450 per day to care for a patient on our In-Patient Unit and so the money that Parvez has raised will go a long way towards helping local patients and their families during a very difficult time.”

It costs £25,000 every day to run all of the Hospice’s services, with the generous support of the local community helping to make up a large proportion of this.

Praising Parvez, Rifhat Malik of Give a Gift said: “We are extremely grateful to Parvez for his amazing fundraising efforts for Give A Gift yet again.

“Give a Gift was set up approximately four years ago to help non-Muslim causes and encourage Muslims in particular to support local causes as well as supporting international causes."

Baking buns, brownies, biscuits and other yummies to raise £500 for terminally-ill children

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KIND-HEARTED: 10-year-old Shyla Hanif has been touched by the work that local charities do and wants to help them

KIND-HEARTED: 10-year-old Shyla Hanif has been touched by the work that local charities do and wants to help them

Sweet sprinkles of hope

“It must be so hard for mums and dads and brothers and sisters to deal with a member of their family being so sick or even dying.”

A ten-year-old from Leeds has been setting a fine example by fundraising for children who need urgent heart surgery but also for those who are extremely sick and need the care of a hospice in their final days.

Shyla Hanif, a Year 6 student at the Grammar School at Leeds, bravely stuck up her hand at the Give a Gift charity dinner that she attended with her family. She pledged to raise £500 for Leeds Children’s Heart Unit and Martin House Hospice during the evening, much to her parent's pleasant surprise.

Working with the school, which encourages its children to raise money for a number of causes, Shyla roped in her ever-helpful friends at GSAL. They baked buns, brownies, biscuits, cakes and other confectionaries to sell in the playground, along with badges and wristbands in support of the two charities.

But this isn’t the first time the kind-hearted kiddo has wanted to make a difference. Shyla first donated her Eid money when she was just seven-years-old and has continued to contribute to Give a Gift in Leeds every year.

EAGER: Shyla's classmates Adam, Anya and Mimi have been rallying support all around school

EAGER: Shyla's classmates Adam, Anya and Mimi have been rallying support all around school

“I was sitting next to my mum at the charity dinner, just before the new year and she was having a conversation with a mum and dad who’s baby had died because of a heart condition," says Shyla.

“I sat there thinking how lucky we are; I don’t know anyone who’s lost a baby due to an illness. I can't imagine how sad and difficult it must be for mums and dads and brothers and sisters to deal with a member of their family being so sick or even dying.

"If I can raise £500 or more, I think it will help these charities a lot.”

“I’ve learnt at the charity dinners how very, very important the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit are in doing life-saving operations. We get to hear about the different stories, and struggles families have had.

“And I know that Martin House Children’s Hospice care for very, very sick children, but they also look after their families too – which is amazing."

"I just hope I can meet my target - I'll be so happy."

Leeds-based Give a Gift, launched it’s initiative to fundraise for local causes in 2013 and have raised over £100,000 for the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit and Martin House Children’s Hospice.

To help Shyla achieve her fundraising target, please make a donation:

Sharon Coyle

CEO Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

“There is nothing more inspiring than a child wanting to help other children. Shyla should be very proud of her achievement. Raising such a substantial amount of money, at a one-off event at such a young age, should not go unnoticed. Well done, and a further thank you must go to all her wonderful supporters!”

Bhranti Naik

Community Fundraiser Martin House Hospice

“We are overjoyed to have the support of Shyla to help with our fundraising efforts. As you are aware, the majority of our funds come from the generosity of Yorkshire people. There is something particularly special about children fundraising for children. We hope that in our special 30th Anniversary Year, more youngsters are inspired by Shyla's efforts and step out of their comfort zone to help fundraise for our children and young people.”

Rifhat Malik

Give a Gift

“Give a Gift is delighted to support Shyla Hanif, a Year 6 pupil at the Grammar School in Leeds, with her fundraising efforts. It is admirable to see someone so young have this level of consideration for others less fortunate than us. It's highly commendable that she’s selling cakes/buns at her school for Martin House Children's Hospice and the Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Fund to help raise vital funds for children with life-threatening conditions. We have no doubt that Shyla's efforts will act as an inspiration to other young people of her age and she is a credit to her family.”


Robert Lilley

Head of Junior School

The Grammar School at Leeds

"We were delighted that Shlya showed the initiative to undertake this project. She has organised everything and led a team of other Y6 pupils. The younger children have supported the event very well and we are grateful to the whole school community for supporting these worthwhile causes."

British Asian Trust beneficiaries join star-studded annual dinner raises epic funds for South Asian projects

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ALL SMILES: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Naughty Boy meet The HRH Prince of Wales (Picture credit: Justin Goff)

ALL SMILES: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Naughty Boy meet The HRH Prince of Wales (Picture credit: Justin Goff)


Astonishing £850,000 raised in one night

The British Asian Trust hosted its 4th Annual Dinner at Guildhall in London. The night proved to be extremely successful with distinguished guests turning out to support the charity and raising an astonishing £850,000 to support the Trust and its projects in South Asia.

The British Asian Trust Founder and President HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall attended the event, on Thursday 2nd February, alongside several of the charity’s key trustees and ambassadors.

Guests included International Development Secretary Priti Patel MP, chart-topping music star Naughty Boy, Pakistani music icon Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, both ambassadors of The Trust, tennis star Boris Becker, award-winning film director Gurinder Chadha and TV stars Nitin Ganatra and Preeya Kalidas.

HONOURABLE GUESTS: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (picture credit: Justin Goff)

HONOURABLE GUESTS: HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (picture credit: Justin Goff)

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “The British Asian community has long played a vital role in the fight against global poverty by dedicating their time, money and expertise to this global struggle.

“I am delighted that the Department for International Development, has such an enduring partnership with the British Asian Trust which helps to defeat poverty and suffering in the world.

“The recent match funding of public donations to the British Asian Trust’s ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal has already helped 50,000 women and girls in Pakistan get the essential skills they need to secure steady jobs.

“There is no task more urgent than defeating poverty.

“Britain plays a leading international role in tackling the root causes of poverty and supporting the education and livelihoods of the world’s poorest."

"People in Britain can be proud of the way UK aid is saving and changing lives on an incredible scale.”

SPEAKER: Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel MP

SPEAKER: Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel MP


The night was hosted by BBC broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, a British Asian Trust trustee, and welcomed over 450 supporters and ambassadors.

Pakistani music icon Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who was announced as a new British Asian Trust ambassador on the night, performed and also collaborated with British chart-topping producer Naughty Boy.

GUESTS: British Asian Trust Gala Dinner 2017 (picture credit Alastair Fyfe)

GUESTS: British Asian Trust Gala Dinner 2017 (picture credit Alastair Fyfe)

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said: "I have followed the work of the British Asian Trust for some time and it was an honour to perform tonight for HRH's The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

“I am delighted that The Prince of Wales also announced that I will be working more closely with the British Asian Trust as an ambassador, to further support their incredible work in transforming lives across South Asia."

Kalsoom Tahira, Navanitha Kooteri Veeregowda, Sonali Shah meet The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH (picture credit: Justin Goff)

Kalsoom Tahira, Navanitha Kooteri Veeregowda, Sonali Shah meet The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH (picture credit: Justin Goff)


Guests were introduced to two of the Trust’s beneficiaries, Navanitha and Kalsoom who have travelled to the UK from India and Pakistan respectively and were welcomed by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

For Navanitha, her life changed when she signed up to a football programme with the Trust’s local partner. She proved a natural in the sport when girls playing football was not accepted as a social norm in India. She challenged this and has changed the perceptions of girls’ abilities in her local community and is an inspiration to a new generation of Indian girls.

THANKING SUPOORTERS: Richard Hawkes CEO British Asian Trust (picture credit: Justin Goff)

THANKING SUPOORTERS: Richard Hawkes CEO British Asian Trust (picture credit: Justin Goff)

Navanitha said: “I am very happy to be here and to meet the Prince, it is a proud moment. It is amazing to see the support for the British Asian Trust, whose work has helped changed my life and so many others in South Asia.”

Kalsoom was born into poverty to uneducated parents, but she was determined to complete her schooling. She briefly became a teacher, but this was cut short when her marriage ended after her husband tormented her for giving birth to a disabled son.

Despite the social stigma of divorce, Kalsoom raised her son alone.  Her life changed when she enrolled on a training programme with the Trust’s local partner. Spotting an opportunity in her community, Kalsoom launched her own training centre and now teaches sewing techniques to 20 girls.

DELIGHTED: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Neev Spencer, Preeya Kalidas, Hugh Bonneville, Gurinder Chadha, Shahid Khan, The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Priti Patel, Nihal Arthanayake, Sonali Shah, Manish Bhasin, Zafar Iqbal, Reshmin Chowdhury, Ikram But

DELIGHTED: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Neev Spencer, Preeya Kalidas, Hugh Bonneville, Gurinder Chadha, Shahid Khan, The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Priti Patel, Nihal Arthanayake, Sonali Shah, Manish Bhasin, Zafar Iqbal, Reshmin Chowdhury, Ikram But

Kalsoom added: “When I left Pakistan to come here my expectation was very different. Since I’ve come here and met everybody, my thoughts have definitely changed. I’m so impressed with the work of the British Asian Trust, how they have supported us and shared our pain.”

To date, the British Asian Trust has touched the lives of over three million people in South Asia, and the gala dinner marked the beginning of a special year that will focus on four key areas to transform the future of South Asia – Education, Anti-trafficking, Livelihoods and Mental Health/Disability.

Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “This has been another fantastic evening for the Trust, on our 4th annual dinner. We have felt tremendous support, warmth and encouragement for our work from all of our supporters. We look forward to a special year in 2017 as a trusted partner for South Asia.”

PERFORMANCE: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan showcased his voice to The Royals

PERFORMANCE: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan showcased his voice to The Royals

Marrakech marathon: UK crew join 8000-runners to partake in prestigious run

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An enthusiastic group of 16 men have got their running shoes all tied up and have landed in Morocco, all set to take part in the Marrakech Half Marathon.

The team of runners from Whitechapel are raising funds on Sunday's 29th January, to support the Muslim Charity's grassroots work supporting vulnerable street children in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.

Rashid Ali, Programme Officer at Muslim Charity will be co-ordinating the team over the next few days with cultural visits and light training plans as part of preparations for the big day.

Harun Rashid, head of fundraising at Muslim Charity reported to the Asian Express: "We have arrived safe and sound, and the next few days we will be enjoying some time to relax, prepare and gather our thoughts.

“Huge thanks go out to all our runners and supporters who have made this journey a success even before we have crossed the starting line.”

Under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI, the International Marathon of Marrakech this year is hosting its twenty-sixth edition. More than 8000 runners from all over the world will take part in what is considered one of the most prestigious Marathons in the world.

The magical town of Marrakech offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered as one of the fastest in the world. It goes along the alleys of palm trees, orange, and olive-trees, but also the ramparts of the city.

Runner Abdal Ahmed added: "We have a beautiful cause and request everyone's well wishes for a successful trip. Thank all our sponsors for their tremendous support.”

Muslim Charity was founded over 15-years-ago as a compassionate response to suffering and to tackle poverty across the globe.

The charity has been able to touch millions of vulnerable lives and implement hundreds of relief and development projects without any racial, religious or linguistic discrimination.

A bite of Bombay: Eat for a good cause in Bradford this weekend

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FAMILY RECIPES: Sabra Kader, whose passion in the kitchen has only been to the benefit of her friends and family in the past, finally shares her kitchen secrets with a wider audience

FAMILY RECIPES: Sabra Kader, whose passion in the kitchen has only been to the benefit of her friends and family in the past, finally shares her kitchen secrets with a wider audience

Pani Puri, Pau Bhaji, Papadi Chaat, Bhel Puri – just a small handful of sensationally irresistible desi street food delights for the offering, and all to raise money for charity.

Cooked from authentic family recipes, Bombay Bites in Shearbridge Road, Bradford, unlike other restaurants in the city, boast an array of authentic and new tastes and flavours.

Now they’ve teamed up with UK-based charity SKT Welfare for the weekend and promised to give half the eatery’s takings over Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January.

SKT Welfare, a well-established and dedicated charity, deliver humanitarian aid regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief across the world.

Bombay Bites – the new ‘string’ of the Bombay Stores 50-year-old business, brings a new era of dining to Bradford’s food fans.

Explains Samir Kader: “For over 50 years my family have called Bradford home, building up one of the city’s largest businesses.

“Bombay Bites is the latest addition to the Bombay name and is headed up by my mum, Sabra Kader, and her host of family recipes.

“Everyone always says ‘my mum is the best cook’. For me, it is true.”

Opened since the start of November, the restaurant is already building up quite a reputation thanks to their finger-licking trademark Chicken Buffalo Wings and fully-loaded Don Burger proving to be huge hits with visitors.

Samir talks about the family-run business, and it’s commitment to helping those less fortunate.

“The 100% donation policy of SKT has attracted us to work with this charity, and it's work helping the displaced people of Syria.

“We’re hoping people can come and eat at Bombay Bites for a good cause as we’ll be giving 50 percent of our sales to SKT Welfare.

“But that’s not all, in anticipation of the crowds, we’re also holding a ‘25% OFF’ weekend spectacular event at Bombay Stores this Saturday and Sunday.

“So not only do you do your bit for charity, but you’ll get some savings in Bombay Stores as well.

SKT Welfare is a registered charity in England and Wales (no 1153735).

Head down to Bombay Bites and Bombay Stores on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January, Shearbridge Road, Bradford, BD7 1NX.

Charity worker gets five-year prison term in Iran

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SENTENCED: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been given a five-year prison term in Iran (pictured here with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter)

SENTENCED: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been given a five-year prison term in Iran (pictured here with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter)

A British-Iranian mother jailed in Iran has had her five-year prison sentence confirmed, according to media.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport last April as she attempted to return to the UK following a holiday with her two-year-old daughter.

The 38-year-old charity worker, from Hampstead, northwest London, was subsequently sentenced to five years by the revolutionary court on "secret charges".

This has now been finalised by the Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, according to a report by, which is linked to the country's judiciary.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's toddler, Gabriella, remains in Iran with family after authorities seized her passport.

Iran does not recognise dual nationalities, and those detained cannot receive consular assistance.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband Richard Ratcliffe has branded her sentence as "a punishment without a crime" and previously said she was struggling most with being separated from her daughter.

He also said his wife had suffered significant hair and weight loss as a result of her ordeal.

SHAM UK CHARITY APPEALS: Fraudsters using appeals to steal money via emails, social media and Whatsapp

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Watch out! Fraudsters posing as charities aim to steal your personal and banking details

Asian’s in Britain have been identified as the most generous to donate to charities, but now UK’s charity regulator has identified fraudsters who are pulling heart strings and tricking people into parting with money.

Using social media with heart-wrenching images and well- put together, the emails aim to deceive members of the public and businesses to give money to fake charity appeals.

Some even go to the lengths to ask to help adopt orphaned Syrian children. The Charity Commission has issued an alert warning the public of the con.  

In one case, emails purporting to be from Migrant Helpline - a genuine charity supporting migrants - were sent to individuals and businesses with a link containing malware to steal banking details, the Charity Commission said.

The bogus emails provided information of a donation scheme for Syrian families and invited recipients to clink on a link to retrieve more information about their donation.

Migrant Helpline have issued a warning on its website, outlining their good name being used in a sham.

Once recipients click on the deceiving email, malicious software is automatically downloaded onto their device, which is then able to record the user’s personal information and banking details.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission has said that whenever there’s a spike in interest in an issue, that is when unfortunately the criminals will try and manipulate that to their advantage.

HEART-WRENCHING: UN figures estimate around 11million Syrian’s have been displaced

HEART-WRENCHING: UN figures estimate around 11million Syrian’s have been displaced

Though people are being made aware of emails from fake charities, especially those using general terms like 'we're donating money on behalf of migrants', those who donate should be very precautious and only give to trusted charities.

Syria's conflict has forced more than 11 million people - around half of the population - from their homes in one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises.

One particular Whatsapp message in circulation came to Asian Express newspaper’s attention. Confirmed as fake, it asked for help.   

“We are looking for Muslim families to foster young children who have arrived in Calais after their parents were killed. They have no one to help them but Allah and those benevolent enough to take them in,” it read.

Playing on emotions, it continued: “Please pass it (the message) on if you are unable to help these children that end up in non-Muslim household and be raised with a different faith.”

Carl Mehta, Head of Investigations and Enforcement at the Charity Commission said: "The British public donate millions of pounds every year to the right causes. Any attempt to abuse this generosity is reprehensible.

"Do not be put off donating by these malicious scams, but follow the Commission's advice on safer giving".

Recent research from Norton by Symantec showed that that one in four Brits was affected by an online attack during the past year, with millennials and frequent travellers, particularly hot targets.

Overall, cybercrime cost UK consumers £1.8 billion, showing the huge potential risk to users across the country.

Ain’t no mountain high enough… Superhero legal eagle sets new standards to support children with cancer

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FUNDRAISER NUMBER ONE! Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors who raised money for children's cancer charity by climbing Mount Snowdon, seen here presenting cheque to Emily Wragg, Operations Director and Deputy Director of Candlelighters

FUNDRAISER NUMBER ONE! Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors who raised money for children's cancer charity by climbing Mount Snowdon, seen here presenting cheque to Emily Wragg, Operations Director and Deputy Director of Candlelighters

In almost 25years of fundraising I have not seen such a large amount of money raised in such a short space of time.

Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, however when Abdul Iftikhar, found out about children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, he was inspired to raise funds to help the very, very poorly children and their families that face such difficult situations.

The dad from Bradford, fondly known as Ifty to his colleagues, recently attended Candlelighters annual awards event where he was blown away with their work and that of the volunteers. 

Ifty, partner at Leeds-based solicitors Kamrans, then went on to witness first-hand the outstanding work that the charity undertake in providing financial support and assistance to children fighting cancer and their families.

When he decided to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Snowdon, he had no idea just how successful his fundraising efforts were going to be.

Asking friends, family and business colleagues to sponsor him, Ifty’s initial target of £2000 was easily smashed in the first few days on his online fundraising page.

Two weeks later, he’d raised a whopping £7585 to support children with cancer and their families.

His fundraising achievements were recognised by Justgiving as being in the top 1% of fundraisers in December.

Making climbing Snowdon look easy, the eager beaver went on to climbing another mountain the next day.

“Cancer doesn't discriminate and anybody regardless of their age, race, religion, gender. It is for this reason that those affected are given adequate support in such difficult times,” says Ifty.

He adds: “ I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, colleagues and all our generous donors for their unwavering support. I would also like to particularly thank all those at Gotyasize Circuit Class, Girlington Community Centre, Bradford for their support on the day. 

“Together we have made a real difference for the children fighting cancer and their families.”

Brian Curran, Candlelighters Corporate Fundraiser said: “In almost 25-years of fundraising I have not seen such a large amount of money raised in such a short space of time.

“When Abdul Iftikhar told me he was climbing Snowdon I expected the climb to be sometime in 2017. When he told me he was going to attempt in just three days I was shocked.

“To see him raise so much money was amazing and we are very grateful to him and his supporters.”

Abdul Iftikhar hasn’t stopped his support and will be working closely with Brian to encourage more companies to support Candlelighters. 

You can visit Abdul Iftikhar’s justgiving page to view the updates and pictures.  He would encourage you to support Candlelighters by making a donation on his page.

Santa visits Syria: Fourth humanitarian trip for SKT Welfare

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HUMANITARIAN: Nazim has raised over £90,000 for charity over the years

HUMANITARIAN: Nazim has raised over £90,000 for charity over the years

A charity champion has recently returned from his fourth humanitarian aid visit in three years to the Turkish and Syrian border region with the Dewsbury-based SKT Welfare

Nazim Ali raised over £15,000 with which vital humanitarian food packs, blankets and winter kits were purchased and distributed during the Christmas period.

The Bradford-born philanthropist, who visited the war-torn country, said: “I have now personally managed to raise over £90,000 for a plethora of charitable causes over the last decade through various charity runs, including marathons and mountain treks to name a few.

He added: “Altogether, the 19 strong SKT Welfare winter deployment team from various parts of England raised a grand total that exceeded £100,000.”

The six day intense aid delivery was a gruelling period of charity work, which included early starts and finishing at midnight.

“We packed and distributed almost 3,000 food parcels weighing 18kg each, which will last a week for a Syrian family of five. We gave out almost 2,000 blankets, 2,000 winter kits (consisting of thermal clothing, gloves, socks and hats) and a suitcase full of toys for Syrian refugee children,” Nazim smiled.

The group distributed in the Syrian and Turkey border of Reyhanli and mountainous villages across the Turkish and Syrian border region.

GIFTS: Nazim with a Syrian orphan and her jewellery set

GIFTS: Nazim with a Syrian orphan and her jewellery set

“We also visited and distributed aid to the numerous rehabilitation centres scattered around Reyhanli.  It was distressing to see at first hand the horrific injuries sustained, especially the children.

“Snowy and rainy conditions meant we delivered humanitarian aid just in time. We visited Syrian refugees living in tents with mud all over the floors and Syrian refugees living in partially built homes.

“One can just imagine how cold winter will be for them in such treacherous living conditions. Nothing has improved in terms of the living conditions of Syrian refugees since my first visit three years ago.

“What sticks inmy mind is when refugees have said to me that it isn’t the aid I bring over that really benefits them, but the fact that I’ve left my family in the UK to help them. They said that just being here is a solace to their hearts that they no longer feel alone or that the world has forgotten about them.

“It was wonderful to see the Syrian children smiling and elated at receiving their toys. For me, that is the best part; just seeing their smiles and taking their mind off the horrors that no child should witness.”

A knockout night of boxing

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AWARD: Young boxers were presented with trophies on the night from former world champion, Junior Witter (pictured second from right)

AWARD: Young boxers were presented with trophies on the night from former world champion, Junior Witter (pictured second from right)

Charity and boxing go hand-in-hand in Dewsbury

KBW’s reputation as a ‘club which cares’ only enhanced further last weekend as its 10th boxing show raised funds for some of the world’s most in-need refugees.

The Dewsbury-based club held the sell-out event at the Orchid Banqueting Suite, with sport fans turning out in their masses to see some of the top local talent.

Kicking off the night was an array of youth bouts, showcasing local lads: Lewis Benson, Uzair Kiani and Harkaran Singh, with all three fighters taking to the ring for the

Three rounds of skilled bouts gave each young competitor the chance to shine in the ring, before amateur contests got underway, with Fizan Khan losing out to Shaquille Martins on points, Corey Riley defeating Tom Collingwood, Asim Arshad claiming victory against Subhaan Mahmood and Adam Yafai clinching a split decision win against Alan Hasan.

HEAVY BLOW: Action shots from the night show the competitiveness on show

HEAVY BLOW: Action shots from the night show the competitiveness on show

The two main fights of the night started with KBW’s Huzaifa Khan facing off against James Jacques.

If Jacques had thought it was going to be an easy night he had a rude awakening as the local boxer got off to an aggressive start from the first bell.

Despite being the more experienced fighter, as well as having a height and reach advantage, Jacques was unable to control the fight as his opponent dominated for much of the three rounds.

By the time the second round had come around, the visiting fighter had been forced to change his strategy yet continued to absorb some devastating body shots and blows to the head.

The third round saw a brave attempt by Jacques to regain a foothold in the matchup, yet after a flurry of heavy uppercuts landed, a standing eight count was forced

Despite both fighters making it to the final bell, there was only one winner as Khan’s hand was raised by unanimous decision.

In the second main event of the night, KBW’s Saif Cheema rounded off a memorable night for the gym as he defeated Mark Bebington by a unanimous decision.

The New Era Boxing Academy competitor may have towered over the 6ft 2inch Cheema – a rare sight for the Dewsbury fighter – yet his mentality kept him on the front foot for the majority of the contest.

Throughout the first round, both men felt each other out and traded few blows, both boxing on back foots and waiting for counters.

Eventually Cheema's hand speed seemed to be the tool to success and he seemed to land more than his opponent, using footwork to stay out of the way of a dangerous big shot.

A similar two rounds followed, Cheema once again using his movement and jab to frustrate his opponent, ultimately earning him the clear triumph.

Following the night of action, Shammy Cheema, of KBW, said the night had exceeded all expectations.

“In total, we had over 10 boxing bouts, giving a lot of our own KBW boxers the chance to show what they can do against other club boxers from across the area.

“Over the years, these shows have becoming increasingly popular in the amateur boxing circuit with ever-growing turnout figures and the fact that many local celebrities turn up to watch the quality display of boxing on show.

“Last week’s event was a success we can all be proud of.”

As well as boxers starring in the ring, there was a wealth of talent outside it too, with the likes of Atif Shafique, Haroon Khan and Junior Witter all in attendance.

Kindness and cakes: Rakkaposhi enjoys first year of charity success

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A GREAT YEAR: Founder and chief executive of QED-uk, Mohammed Ali, and deputy chief executive, Adeeba Malik, are delighted with the first year operations for Rakkaposhi

A GREAT YEAR: Founder and chief executive of QED-uk, Mohammed Ali, and deputy chief executive, Adeeba Malik, are delighted with the first year operations for Rakkaposhi

A Bradford cafe, which takes pride in serving a ‘slice of charity’ with every order, is celebrating one year in business as it continues to give back to the community.

Launched in December last year by the well-established charity, QED-uk, to mark 25 years of operations, Rakkaposhi is a luxury coffee and dessert parlour located on Ebenezer Street.

Set-up as a way of creating an extra revenue channel for the charity, the business is a long-term project which donates all of its profits to the charity.

Founder and chief executive of QED-uk, Mohammed Ali, explained how the cafe had been a huge success in its first year, already exceeding its targets for 2018.

“I think the first year for us, as with any business, has been a learning curve,” he said. “We have learned a lot over the past 12 months, creating six or seven jobs in the process.

“Although we have not yet made a profit, we have broken even. It’s something we didn’t expect to achieve until the end of our third year.

“This means that from next year, more funding will be created via Rakkaposhi thanks to our customers and hard working staff.”

With government cuts to funding for charities throughout the UK, Mohammed adds that the cafe is more vital to the community than it was one year ago.

He added: “It is of course a different kind of venture for us but it is one which will help us in our day-to-day work.

“We are used to training people, helping them to get into employment. The plan for Rakkaposhi is to hopefully generate more income for us to utilise in the charity side of work and help us rely less on donations and grants from the public sector. It will ultimately make us more self-sufficient.”

Working with disadvantaged communities across Bradford and internationally, QED-uk aims to improve economic, social and disadvantaged lives of local residents.

Rakkaposhi serves up a range of luxury handmade desserts and organic premium coffee seven days a week.

Open from 2pm till 10pm Monday - Thursday (2pm - midnight on Fridays and Saturdays) and 4pm till 10pm on Sunday, the cafe is in a prime position located near The Broadway Shopping Centre and the Leisure Exchange.

‘Get it to number one’: No VAT on Jo Cox charity single

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TRIBUTE: The charity single will be released one week prior to Christmas

TRIBUTE: The charity single will be released one week prior to Christmas

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced that money made from the charity single in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox will not suffer a loss in proceeds over VAT.

The announcement was made on Tuesday 13th December, with the Treasury vowing to make a charitable donation, equivalent to the VAT payable on the sales of the single, to the foundation.

Mr Hammond said: “Jo Cox dedicated so much of her life to helping people less fortunate than herself and the charity named in her honour is carrying on that excellent work.

“It is only right that we do what we can to support that work and I am pleased to confirm that every single penny of sales from this single will go towards the good causes the Jo Cox Foundation supports.”

FUNDING: Philip Hammond confirmed that the single would be exempt to VAT

FUNDING: Philip Hammond confirmed that the single would be exempt to VAT

The song, a cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘You Can't Always Get What You Want’, features a host of household names including Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson, Cockney Rebel’s Steve Harley, KT Tunstall and David Gray.

A backing track is provided by members of the parliamentary rock group MP4 and the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus.

Steve Harley, who sings with Cockney Rebel, said of Mrs Cox: “It just seemed that every breath she took seemed to be for someone else's benefit.”

Proceeds from the charity single will all be donated to the Jo Cox Foundation which supports a plethora of charities – these include the Royal Voluntary Service and Syrian rescue volunteers the White Helmets.

Project organiser Kevin Brennan, MP4 member and Labour MP for Cardiff West, said: “The fact that so many people have given up their time for this project to support the causes she cared about shows that she leaves us all a legacy of hope for a better world.”

It is not the first time a government has waived VAT on a Christmas single, with the first example of such an offering occurring in 1984 for Band Aid's ‘Do They Know It's Christmas’.