Two community groups help St Basils young people during Ramadan
31 JUL 2014

Two community groups approached St Basils offering support to young people as part of Ramadan

Islamic Help 

Islamic Help cooked a special iftar meal for young people living at one of St Basils Birmingham emergency accommodation schemes; Milner Court.

Islamic Help organised the special meal to give young residents an idea of how Muslims end their fast at the end of each day in the month of Ramadan. The meals - including dates, rice, lamb and chicken curry and naans – were provided by Sparkbrook restaurateurs Al Faisals.

An Islamic Help spokesman said: “It was an ideal opportunity for some of our young volunteers to meet their peers and share in the spirit of Ramadan which is not only about fasting but also showing generosity and helping others.”

“We were really impressed by the positive spirit of the young people being looked after at St Basils. So many of them have got skills and talents which have opened up opportunities for them and they saw their present circumstances as a temporary situation.

“Both sides enjoyed it and got on really well. Young people being young people they had a lot in common and we’re really looking forward to working with St Basils on other ventures.”

Lucy Hackett, Head of Fundraising for St Basils went on to say: “We were delighted when Islamic Help approached us with this kind offer, they do some wonderful work across the community. The meal shared with our young people was fantastic, a real treat and a great evening was had by all but more importantly it’s very warming for our young people to see first-hand how our local community cares about them and collectively want to support vulnerable young people and prevent youth homelessness. Huge thanks also to Al Faisals for the very generous and delicious curry donations.”

Share a Smile

Meanwhile ‘Share a smile’ donated over 550 packs of essential items to St Basils, dropping off the donations initially at one of our Small Heath accommodation schemes, Carole Gething House in Birmingham. Staff then passed them on to young people at the project and several other nearby St Basils accommodation schemes as well.

Share a Smile was part of a national campaign to help 5000 vulnerable families across the UK and St Basils young people were the main recipients in Birmingham.

Zulfikar Hassam, a volunteer member of the Share a Smile team, explained the importance of the initiative: “In keeping with the ethics of Islam, of generosity and giving back to the community, the Share a Smile campaign aims to reach out to those most in need in the areas in which the community lives. His Highness the Aga Khan has often commented on the importance of volunteerism, describing it as a ‘cherished principle in Shia Ismaili culture’.  We hope that by working together with our charity partners we will bring warmth and a smile to those who are vulnerable.”

The packs included baked beans, sweetcorn, a cereal bar and soup as well as essential non-food items such as toothbrushes, toothpastes, shampoo and shower gel and were very well received by young people.

Manager of Carole Gething House Emma Gardner who received the initial donation said: “We are really grateful to Share a Smile for this huge donation of essential items. It has been fantastic to have so many of these packs readily available for when young people need them, not only for those at our projects but other nearby accommodation schemes too. It has meant we haven’t had to rely on community foodbanks and it has helped both young people arriving at the project and moving on to have a supply of essential items, at a time when finances are especially tight. It has definitely taken the pressure off and been a huge help.”