Islamic Relief UK and Give a Gift team up to help some of the most vulnerable in West Yorkshire as calls for help overtake those of first two lockdowns
As families and asylum seekers continue to struggle financially due to the pandemic, Islamic Relief UK is supporting local Leeds based charity Give a Gift with over £13,000 to help over 1000 people with winter food packs and vouchers.
Give a Gift, which helps disadvantaged people, has received more calls for help compared to the first two lockdowns due to the number of temporarily stopped or closed down services. They have also seen asylum seekers live off £5 a day and met families prioritising eating or heating as they struggle to pay their bills.
To help some of those struggling, food packs were distributed by Islamic Relief UK and Give a Gift on Friday 10 December to Parklands Primary School, Little London Primary School and Carr Manor Community School, which all have a high percentage of children on free school meals.
The food packs contained sweet and savoury biscuits, chocolates, mince pies and a selection of ambient foods.
A child who received a food pack at one of the schools said:
“I thought it was a dream and it wasn’t, I was so surprised and happy and my heart is feeling really warmed up.”
There were also distributions of winter hamper packs to the elderly with thermal socks as well as Sherpa blankets, donated by Give a Gift charity partner, BAK foundation.
Rifhat Malik MBE, Project Manager at Give a Gift said:
“We are so pleased to be working with Islamic Relief UK and BAK foundation to provide winter hampers to many who still face financial hardship. We thank the community for their support and help during a very difficult time.
“We are getting more referral from agencies such as social services, Citizens Advice Bureau hardship line, third sector organisations and schools. Funding for support has been reduced and the criteria is changing to prioritise those at greatest need.
“We have also been dealing with failed asylum seekers, destitute people living under the poverty line and families who have never accessed help from charities due to their incomes reducing or issues with applying for state benefits.”
Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK said:
“It’s heart-breaking to know that families in the UK are struggling to keep themselves warm or to eat this winter. This should not be happening in one of the richest countries in the world.
“I’ve witnessed Give a Gift’s efforts on the ground and they do incredible work with the community and help support the most vulnerable refugee families and asylum seekers.
“Islamic Relief UK is honoured to be working with such a vital charity to deliver food to families in need, which will provide much needed support during what is usually a very challenging time of the year.”
Notes to editors
For any questions or to request to interview one of our spokespeople, please contact:
- Jonaid Jilani: email@example.com; 07872 403534;
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.