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volunteer week

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023 with our extraordinary volunteers!

It’s Volunteers’ Week here in the UK, where the extraordinary contributions of volunteers across the country are recognised and celebrated. At Islamic Relief, we have always been so fortunate and proud to have the support of around 3,000 volunteers in the UK and thousands more around the world.

Our volunteers play a pivotal role in the humanitarian work we do, by dedicating their time and energy to helping at events, fundraising on the ground, creating social media content, campaigning for various causes, and inspiring others to support the work Islamic Relief does. The many ways our volunteers step in to make a difference are endless!

We couldn’t do the work we do without the support of our invaluable volunteers and are proud to share some of their stories and experiences here!

Meet Rubeena Gulzar

This year I began my journey on the RespondIR programme, being trained to respond to UK emergencies. By day I am a Diversity & Inclusion lead for a UK regulator within the aviation industry. I wanted to go beyond donating money to the charity’s causes and start giving my time.

Since joining the programme, the world of volunteering within Islamic Relief soon opened up for me: collecting donations for the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, to training and being a call centre volunteer during the Ramadan Islam Channel Appeals, to helping fundraise at the Ramadan Tent Project Open Iftar and Trafalgar Square Eid event - all this in just a few months!

Never underestimate how much of a difference just a few hours of volunteering can make to people. You, individually, and as part of a team end up raising a lot of money that will help many in need here and abroad, Insha’Allah. Volunteering can be as easy, as challenging, and as fun as you want to make it – don’t forget that charity also comes in the form of a smile too. 


Meet Saiam Ahmed

I have been actively volunteering with Islamic Relief since 2012, engaging in a variety of projects and taking on different roles. My journey began during my time at university when I joined the Charity Week project, collaborating with the Queen Mary University Islamic Society to raise funds for orphans and needy children. This initial experience sparked my passion for making a difference and led me to further involvement with Islamic Relief. Today, I work as a Research Fellow and Medical Statistician at University College London.

As I became more committed to the cause, I joined the London regional team. It was during this time that I had the privilege of organising the first-ever international annual dinner, which brought together people from across the country and Canada to celebrate 10 years of Charity Week!

Helping to raise funds for those in need has profoundly impacted my own life in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. It has opened my eyes to the realities faced by people around the world, breaking me out of the bubble of my own struggles and daily concerns. Through this experience, I have gained a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of the challenges and hardships that many individuals face on a daily basis.

Meet Umaymah Bendraou

I have been volunteering with Islamic Relief for about four years. Islamic Relief was very involved with my high school (Manchester Islamic Grammar School Girls) and this is how I was introduced to charity work. We did many events together such as “Night under the Stars” iftar, Mother’s Day high tea, and the well-known campaign Charity Week.

As my mum was a core volunteer with Islamic Relief, this further encouraged me to be more active and involved as well.

Being a volunteer has helped me develop into the woman I am today. It allows me to see the world in a different way, it has taught me about Islam, about gratitude, and has given me many transferrable life skills. It is us volunteers who truly benefit from the work we do – we gain reward and build our place in Jannah bi’ithnillah all while helping others and having fun.


Meet Nabila Kara

I have been volunteering with Islamic Relief for over three years now. I was inspired to volunteer after seeing the positive impact Islamic Relief’s work was creating for millions around the globe - I knew that I wanted to be a part of transforming lives.

I was given the humble opportunity to take over and handle the social media profiles for Islamic Relief East Midlands earlier this year. For this, I had to produce exciting and innovative content, and during Ramadan this meant highlighting various aspects of what Islamic Relief’s events during the holy month!

One of the most impactful lessons I have learnt during my volunteering experience is that small changes have a big impact. I learnt the importance of having the right Niyyah (intention) in all that we pursue, and I experienced this first hand during my Snowdon trek for the Turkey/Syria appeal. The determination and right Niyyah enabled me to exceed my fundraising target, conquer the mountain which brought me a feeling of satisfaction – my heart was full.  

Volunteering is great but volunteering with Islamic Relief is a reward like no other, it is on a different spectrum! It opens tremendous opportunities to showcase your skills, it allows you to explore and venture, take responsibility, and enjoy your volunteering experience. Every single day is different, there is a lot of travelling involved for those who enjoy travelling and adventures. 


Thank you to all our Lifesavers

Thank you to Rubeena, Saiam, Umaymah and Nabila for sharing your inspiring journeys on volunteering with Islamic Relief. There are so many ways you can get involved and contribute towards transforming and saving lives across the world.

If you are interested in volunteering with Islamic Relief, please get in touch with us by emailing our volunteers team at [email protected]

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