26th June, 2017
Wakefield’s first Great Fun Day & Iftaar a roaring success!
Saturday the 17th of June saw the advent of Wakefield’s first ever Great Fun Day & Community Iftaar Dinner - amid a sparkling day of sunshine. The event was part of the wider Jo Cox Great Get Together, in memory of the late Batley MP.
Organised by Penny Appeal in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police, Wakefield Council, Wakefield College and Wakefield District Housing, the Fun Day attracted over 1500 guests to the Thornes Park Campus of Wakefield College.
In an event that brought together people from all backgrounds and walks of life, the Fun Day entertained revellers with a whole host of activities. A free three-course meal was provided, with members of the Muslim community able to break their fast during Ramadan, and share in the spirit of this holy occasion.
Entertainment began at 7pm and included flag making, a bouncy castle, henna painting, poetry reading, comedy and prizes. Ridings FM was present, with music also provided by acoustic duo, Pearls of Islam. Politician and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Warsi, delivered a keynote speech, saying: “What an amazing legacy that all of us here from so many different backgrounds, so many different faiths and none, so many different ethnicities, and so many different experiences have come together today.” A number of other speakers, including Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussein, from West Yorkshire Police, joined the Baroness.
The Fun Day showcased all that’s good about the integration of different people in and around Wakefield, with members of varying faiths and of none underlining the strong sense of community that brings people together in celebration. Penny Appeal Chairman, Adeem Younis said, “There’s so much more that unites us than divides us – and this is what the event was all about”.
Before everyone came to break bread together and enjoy the three-course meal, 1000 balloons were released in memory of the late MP for Batley Jo Cox. Jo was a great advocate of bringing people together, no matter where they came from or what they believed, the whole event passed in very much the same spirit.
In a tribute to the amount of people who attended, Harris Iqbal, Head of Programmes for Penny Appeal said, “Today we’ve seen people come together from all backgrounds – and what an amazing turnout we’ve had!”
15th June, 2017
#TeamOrange volunteers provide aid to those affected by the London fire
Penny Appeal volunteers have been on the ground since 3am to provide aid to those affected by the Grenfell Tower blaze in West London.
A crisis team from Penny Appeal was dispatched as soon as news of the tragedy hit in the 24-storey tower block began to filter through press outlets. The Metropolitan Police say that a number of people have lost their lives, with many more still missing. It will reportedly take weeks for fire investigation teams to piece together a full picture of the tragic events.
#TeamOrange volunteers, working with the Faiths Forum for London and the British Red Cross have been delivering aid packages to those in need. Blankets, water, food parcels, clothing and hygiene essentials have been packaged and supplied to the front-line of the crisis hit area of west London.
Our London based team was offering support on the ground at 3am, just shortly after news of the incident hit. Later in the day, an eight-strong team of volunteers responded to the crisis, with numbers reaching around 30 the following day. The volunteers’ duties have included sorting through the stock of donations and aid supplies and gathered in London, manning the reception area and distributing meals at food stations. Up to 300 people have so far received hot meals thanks the efforts of #TeamOrange volunteers.
Penny Appeal are asking people to donate anything they can to help the people affected by the fire. Harris Iqbal, Head of Programmes said, “All donations are going to be used by those in need” and thanked people who had offered to volunteer, with the numbers of people trying to help “in the hundreds”.
Along with aid, volunteers are offering befriending and emotional support to victims. On the front-line, the aid effort has been split into two sections, with a ‘food corner’ and ‘clothing corner’. Donations are currently being taken online and by phone on 0300 11 11 11.
25th February, 2017
#Team Orange bring joy and entertainment to the elderly
Penny Appeal has been responding to the growing number of older people who experience loneliness by organising social visits and musical entertainment.
Their latest visit was to the Well Springs Nursing Home in Bradford where volunteers brought along entertainer Paul Whitehead. His performance of classic songs had residents singing and dancing along.
Sarah Ashraf, UK Programmes Officer at Penny Appeal, said: “Winter can be a difficult time for older people, particularly those with mobility issues,” With these social gatherings, we want to provide older people with a positive environment where they can have company, enjoy themselves and engage in conversation with young Muslims. During our visit, we had a chance to talk, at length, with the residents about their lives. We listened to their fascinating stories and were pleased to be given the opportunity to raise their spirits.”
Cath Davis, Manager of Well Springs Nursing Home said she had received great feedback from the residents who enjoyed themselves at the party.
Donate to support our UK Love Thy Neighbour work by calling 03000 11 11 11.
24th February, 2017
HALAL-ARIOUS COMEDY TOUR WINS MUSLIM CHARITY AWARD
Head of Fundraising Zaheer Khan with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
A big thank you to all of you for making it possible for us to win the award for the “Fundraising Campaign of the Year” at the first Muslim Charity Awards.
We won the category for our Super Muslim Comedy Tour 2016, which featured some of your favourite Muslim comedians from the UK and America. Omar Regan, Abdullah Afzal (Amjad in BBC1 comedy Citizen Khan) and Moses the Comic were among the acts who sold-out shows in 11 cities across Britain.
The judges at the awards, organised by the Muslim Charities Forum, praised the charity for its innovative approach to fundraising for its newest campaign, ‘Forgotten Children’ that aims to rescue street children and give them the chance of a childhood.
The campaign met with a brilliant response. Several people, attending the comedy tour decided to support the cost of a fully-fledged rescue centre for street children, costing £25,000, and hundreds of people signed monthly direct debits in support of our campaign. “
The relief efforts will start in Pakistan and Bangladesh with the view to rolling out in Africa in the near future. will focus on essential outreach work to identify vulnerable street children and provide food, clothing, medical support and, where necessary, shelter.
During the ceremony, Penny Appeal was also awarded a commendation for ‘Charity of the Year’. The judges particularly singled out its outstanding work in the UK and beyond. With its ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ programme the charity runs a number of transformative projects including feeding the hungry and homeless, encouraging Muslims to adopt or foster children in care and providing a counselling service for victims of domestic abuse.
“It is both humbling and a great honour to receive this recognition’, said our CEO Aamer Naeem, "it is only made possible by the hard work of our teams and the generosity of our donors."
7th February, 2017
Charity Chairman says ‘I do’ to pay for 100 weddings
Adeem Younis (left) with the happy couple
Penny Appeal’s Chairman, Adeem Younis, has said ‘I do’ to running the London Marathon to raise £100,000 to pay for 100 weddings.
Adeem will be running the London Marathon in April and is hoping to raise enough money through sponsorship to give 100 couples a £1000 each, which will pay for the full cost of their wedding and home furnishings for the new couple to start their married life.
“We all know the difficulties of finding a partner, but it’s hard to imagine how challenging this is for people around the world who struggle in poverty stricken countries,” said Adeem. These people do not have the means to get married as many of these young people were orphaned as children.”
The first of these marriages took place in early January and Adeem headed to Pakistan as a guest of honour at the wedding of Mohammed Safeer and Basri Bi.
Penny Appeal has supported Basri under our Orphan programme and Mohammed lost his father too, leaving the couple with no means of getting married.
If you too want to say, ‘I do’ to the future happiness of a 100 couples across the world then make a donation at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/100marriagechallenge
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