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All 5MILES for fundraising run: Thousands raised for local children’s hospices

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MEMORY: Fundraisers took part in a five mile run or walk in aid of the Martin House and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospices, in memory of Arslan Aslam

MEMORY: Fundraisers took part in a five mile run or walk in aid of the Martin House and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospices, in memory of Arslan Aslam

Family and friends of a teenager, who sadly passed away in hospital earlier this year, have raised thousands of pounds in his memory for two local causes.

16-year-old Arslan Aslam, from Ravensthorpe, suffered from muscular dystrophy and died five days after undergoing surgery, to allow him to sit up straight, at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

On Saturday 26th September, around 30 people gathered to complete a fundraising walk or run, from the family home in Ravensthorpe, to Huddersfield’s Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

Raising funds for the hospice, as well as Martin House Children’s Hospice, over £4,000 was collected in total, following a number of fundraising activities in previous weeks.

TEAM: Around 30 people joined in the fundraiser, with local boxers, including Arslan’s brother Rizwan, running the distance

TEAM: Around 30 people joined in the fundraiser, with local boxers, including Arslan’s brother Rizwan, running the distance

Amongst the walkers on the day was Arslan’s father, Mohammed, who along with his wife, Nasreen, and eldest son, Hassan – who also suffers from muscular dystrophy, completed the five mile route in around two hours.

Arslan’s brother, Rizwan, ran the distance with local boxers from across the region, after helping organise the event.

TRIBUTE: Arslan Aslam passed away earlier this year after suffering a cardiac arrest five days after surgery at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

TRIBUTE: Arslan Aslam passed away earlier this year after suffering a cardiac arrest five days after surgery at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Speaking after the walk, Mohammed said he was delighted with the turnout on the day and hoped to repeat the initiative next year.

“We had a row of champions leading us out on the run with boxers from across the region, who knew Arslan, coming down to take part,” he said.

“It was a great effort by everyone who joined in, with the runners completing the route in around 51 minutes and the walkers in just under two hours.

“When we arrived at the finish, staff at the hospice were fantastic with us all and their hospitality was brilliant. To have raised around £4,000 is a great achievement and we hope it can help these two brilliant causes.”

Amongst the donors to the fundraiser was Arslan’s former school, Newsome High School, who collected £700 for the project, whilst Diamond Wood Community Academy also donated funds. Meanwhile, the fundraisers were also joined on the day by Dewsbury MP, Paula Sherriff.

With plans to repeat the run next year, Mohammed is determined to build on last weekend’s success and ensure they can smash their fundraising targets.

FAMILY: Rizwan Aslam was joined by boxers on the day to complete the five mile run in memory of his brother

FAMILY: Rizwan Aslam was joined by boxers on the day to complete the five mile run in memory of his brother

“The event itself was kept relatively small this year which allowed us to make sure everything ran smoothly but next year we are already aiming to make it bigger and better,” he added.

“Hopefully, with the help of sponsors and the community we can raise even more money for Forget Me Not and Martin House.”

Lisa Calvert, Community Fundraiser at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, thanked the family for their support.

“From everyone at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice we want to say a big well done to all of the participants who took part in the sponsored walk and run this past Saturday and a special thank you to everyone who worked so hard to organise the event,” she said.

“We must raise £3.8million each year to continue providing our services and with just six per cent of this coming from government funding, the support of the local community is vital.”

Sarah Tarpey, Community Fundraiser at Martin House Children’s Hospice, added: “Rizwan’s efforts are truly inspiring and we thank him wholeheartedly for his support.

“The Aslam family have been a pleasure to work alongside and we are deeply touched that Rizwan has chosen to remember his brother, Arslan, by raising much-needed funds to support other young people at Martin House.”

If you would like to make a donation towards the family’s efforts, please visit mohammedarslan.aslam.muchloved.com

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Empowering Communities: Founded in Bradford, working across the world

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CLIMB: Fundraisers for Empowering Communities will scale Wales’ highest peak next month and you are invited to join them

CLIMB: Fundraisers for Empowering Communities will scale Wales’ highest peak next month and you are invited to join them

Currently operating from a small office on Great Horton Road           in Bradford, Empowering Communities was setup by a group of friends last year with one aim in mind - to make a lasting difference in the lives of the needy so that one day they may help others.

With that ambition in mind, friends, relatives and family members have all come together to help drive this dream forward.

It takes vision, drive and determination to take on a task as monumental as this. Poverty affects billions of people across the globe and money has been going towards it for years, so what's so different with Team EC?

Well, they believe that the problem is not about people not trying to help, but not helping in the right way.

If instead of giving a man and his children a handout of free food every day we got him a job, he'd be able to work and buy that food himself, eliminating his dependency on charity.

That's the aim but only a small part of what Empowering Communities are achieving.

In order to achieve these lofty goals, money has to be raised. So day in and day out you'll see different volunteers doing their little bit to help raise money for this unbelievable cause.

empowering communities snowden (409x307)You might see them standing on the streets in their blue and white t-shirts, braving the cold, wind and rain holding buckets asking for your donations.

Sometimes they even get help from your favourite cartoon characters. You might even see a few of their volunteers running in and out of shops.

That's because Empowering Communities has the most charity collection boxes of any charity in the country. With 20,000 boxes from Dundee to Brighton, it's their main source of fundraising.

Whether it's collecting a box from a shop or holding a bucket in the street, the fact is that money needs to be raised in order to continue the work that this amazing group of people have done, and hopefully help empower even more people.

Today there a thousands of people touched by their progress. Women who had no hope, children who were looking at a lifetime of slavery and even the ill and elderly who had accepted their fate of painful, lonely and humiliating years leading to their death.

All of these people and more have been helped by the fantastic volunteers that have helped bring a dream to life.

However this is only the beginning of the journey, not the end. Empowering Communities are looking for many more people with huge hearts of gold to help them continue their mission. We had a chance to catch up with Azeem Yasin, from Empowering Communities, for a quick few words.

“I'm nothing special, I'm a regular guy with a wife and kids but sometimes you think that, I've got kids and I love em to death....but what if they couldn't go to school or had to work on the street polishing shoes or fixing wheels because that was the only way they could get a square meal?” he said.

“That would rip me apart. So why shouldn't I try to help those children who are in that position? So if that means standing with a bucket, running in and out shops or climbing Mt Snowdon, I'll do it.

“At least then I know that I'm trying to help someone and make a difference in the world.”

This month fundraisers from Team EC will be trekking up Wales' highest peak, Mt Snowdon, to raise money for the refugee shelter that they've begun work on in Pakistan.

You can help too by signing up to climb Mt Snowdon on 10th October with only £100 sponsorship required. Transport will be provided and everybody will be leaving at 7am and ready to conquer this mountain for charity.

Of course not everybody can climb a mountain but that doesn't mean people don't want to help.

Alternatively, you can text EMPOWER to 70660 to give £3 or go online at www.empoweringcommunities.org or even call the office at 01274 502 750 to make a different donation or even set up a direct debit.

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