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Islamic Relief UK and Give a Gift, team up to help some of the most vulnerable in West Yorkshire during coronavirus crisis

Calls for help from vulnerable families soar as pandemic continues

As many asylum seeking families struggle during the coronavirus crisis with no access to public funds, Islamic Relief UK is supporting local charity Give a Gift with £21,900 to help over 900 people with food packs and vouchers.

Give a Gift, a Leeds based charity which helps disadvantaged people including asylum seekers, has already started safely distributing food packs door to door to some of the most vulnerable people in Harehills, Beeston, Armley, Burley Hyde park, Gipton, Seacroft and some parts of Bradford.

Prior to support from Give a Gift, one asylum seeking family in Leeds had not received any food packs for a month and when they did receive one, it had very little. With the mother 26 weeks pregnant, a health visitor referred them to Give a Gift who were then able to immediately supply both the food required and other much needed items for the three children, all aged under seven.

The food packs contain essential items such oil, teabags, sugar, rice, flour, pasta, red lentils, tinned chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, meat and dates. The pack will feed a family of six for a week. Food vouchers are also being given to enable families to buy general goods from supermarkets to supplement their food packs.

Although some of the families are receiving food packs from other agencies, the parcels are generically packed and can contain non-halal items. Give a Gift is ensuring the food packs are culturally appropriate and has seen demand increase considerably during the Ramadan period.

Rifhat Malik MBE, Project Manager at Give a Gift said:

“The demand for help during the lockdown is unprecedented and we are doing everything we can to help some of the most vulnerable communities including asylum seekers. We are also trusted by the Muslim communities to ensure that we follow their dietary requirements of Halal food.  With support from local supermarkets and partners such as the Barakah team and the Muslim Kitchen, the families feel reassured knowing they will receive a weekly food supply. The support of the community is also enabling us to support non-Muslim families at this vital time”

As the holy Islamic month of Ramadan continues, many of the Muslim volunteers at Give a Gift are fasting as they work non-stop to help others, making their days extremely challenging.

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK said:

“I’ve witnessed Give a Gift’s efforts on the ground, supporting the most vulnerable refugee families; we are honoured to be supporting such a vital charity doing amazing work to help people in this extremely difficult time. The Give a Gift team are extremely dedicated and work long hours with huge demands to bring much needed relief to some of the most vulnerable communities. We are truly humbled by their efforts, especially as many will be fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Covid-19 has sadly claimed the lives of more than 31,000 (1) people in the UK and has brought the way of life of millions of people to a standstill. The number of deaths continue to rise, as does the number of confirmed cases. Many communities are finding themselves in vulnerable situations financially, emotionally and without access to essential support.

Islamic Relief UK launched an emergency appeal last month to support the country’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak through local charity partners. It committed to making £500,000 available to support these organisations.

(1)    Figures as of 10th May 2020


Notes to editors

For any questions or to request to interview one of our spokespeople, please contact:

–        Jonaid Jilani: [email protected]; 07872 403534;

–        Emily Wight: [email protected]; 07710 389316.

You can donate to Islamic Relief UK’s coronavirus appeal here.

About Give a Gift

The Give a Gift concept has been developed by a partnership of organisations that recognise the need for the Muslim community to play a wider role within mainstream society. Since its inception it now works with people and partners from all backgrounds, contributing to our aim of making society a fairer and more harmonious community for everyone.

We raise funds for good causes and support the most vulnerable including asylum seekers, those living in poverty and people residing in disadvantaged communities.

About Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.

Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo.  Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.

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