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Putting  our  faith   into  action

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

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CONTENTS Faith & Action Come Dine With Us Food For Thought Ramadan Generosity Inspiring Young People YMCA & Khidma Rumis Kitchen Community Radio Interfaith Partnerships Small Acts of Kindness A Partnership Approach

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FAITH & ACTION The ‘Charity Begins At Home’ campaign was initiated by the Islamic Society of Britain in Ramadan 2012. During one of the most charitable times of the year we encouraged our members to donate to a chosen charity each week.

This was followed by messages of support by respected Muslims who DOOUHà HFWHGRQWKHLULGHDVRIZK\LWLV important that British Muslims should focus on UK giving, both in money and time. These included Dr Hany Al-­Banna, Sarah Joseph and Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, amongst others.

Dr Hany Al-­Banna

Sarah Joseph

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra

This brochure has three main aims:

To  highlight  and  spread  good  news!

All too often, news reports and newspaper headlines highlight the negative. Britain’s Muslims up and down the country are involved in some fantastic, innovative and much needed projects week in week out, helping and serving others in need. Here we showcase and celebrate a selection of those, some that our own members have initiated and others by organisations and charities that we support and work with.

To  encourage  large  UK  based  charities  to   connect  more  with  work  in  the  UK

Muslims are reported to be amongst the most generous in terms of charitable giving. A lot of that money is administered by large relief charities based in the UK who carry out vital work in other countries. That of course must continue but we want to see more partnerships, more work being done in our country, too.

To  inspire  and  motivate  people  to  do  more

GRPRUHWRJHWLQYROYHGWRÀQGZD\VWRKHOS their neighbours, to work in partnerships -­ no need to reinvent the wheel. Charity really does start with those closest to us, our neighbours from whatever background, who need our help and support. We know that when people work together, eat together and serve others together they feel a sense of purpose and feel connected. It never fails! Barriers are taken down, misconceptions are dealt with, friendships blossom.

“He  is  not  of  my  community   who  fills  his  stomach  while  his   neighbour  remains  hungry.� -  Prophet  Muhammad

Our lives are all so busy but there is always room to do more! We want the projects highlighted in this brochure to motivate and inspire people to

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COME DINE WITH US Sometimes we forget that the simple activities that bring people together can actually be the most effective. A cup of tea, a dinner together, inviting someone to your house, these things QHYHUIDLO,QDIWHUWKHKRUULĂ€F attacks in Woolwich, a mosque in York became famous for all the right reasons, when the English Defence League came to demonstrate outside their premises, the York Mosque Imam invited them in for tea and a game of football. The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said the mosque’s response was “fantasticâ€?. “Tea, biscuits, and football are a great and typically Yorkshire combination when it comes to disarming hostile and extremist views.â€? Dine@Mine was started in Leicester by the Islamic Society of Britain and has gone from strength to strength. One of its

main features in the city has become an annual ladies event where women from all backgrounds come together, enjoy good food, chat and raise money for local charities at the same time. In 2012 we decided to expand and offer the idea to people in other areas and we linked it to Ramadan. Muslim families invited people to their house for Iftar, the fast opening meal. Working with other organisations including HOPE Not Hate it was a great success and we had such positive feedback. In 2013 we expanded and we were able to involve even more people. T with Me in Glasgow, inspired by a similar project in Norway that saw interest from many people including the Norwegian Royal Family has now been launched. Come on, let’s get the kettle on!


“Tea,  biscuits,  and  football  are  a  great  and  typically   Yorkshire  combination  when  it  comes  to  disarming   hostile  and  extremist  views.”  -  Dr  John  Sentamu,  Arhcbishop  of  York

I just want to say a big thank you for yesterday’s Iftar. It really was an eye opener and gave me such a personal insight into Ramadan that I would never have received otherwise. The hospitality, kindness and sharing was absolutely delightful.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT SATURDAY STOP BY The Islamic Society of Britain and St James the Greater Church working in partnership launched the Saturday Stop-­By in January 2012 which is a weekly drop-­in service for homeless people in Leicester, started after a gap in service on 6DWXUGD\VZDVLGHQWLÀHG9ROXQWHHUV from a range of backgrounds provide hot meals, refreshments, social and recreational activities to 70 homeless people every week.

St James the Greater, Leicester

“Groups like COA are not just about the free food we hand out. Talking to people who are otherwise largely marginalised by society is a large part of what we do. Just checking in to see how their week has been and to ask how they are is part of what we try to do and if we can make anyone feel better about themselves, even for a few minutes a week, that counts as a small achievement in our books”.

,SHUVRQDOO\ÀQG6DWXUGD\6WRS%\WKH best in Leicester, a great place to socialise and the food is amazing

CHILDREN OF ADAM

The group was formed in Ramadan 2011 when Hanan Chehata and her friends attended a Flashmob Iftar seeing local Muslims break their fast by sharing their evening meal, Iftar, with the homeless. After that, through social media, Hanan generated interest and the weekly service became very popular with more than 100 homeless SHRSOHEHQHÀWLQJHYHU\ZHHN7KHQXPEHU of volunteers varies every week but there is a core group of ten who bring the key items. They have now started running special campaigns too and in Winter 2013 fundraised for 170 winter packs for the homeless, each pack containing socks, a hat, a hoodie, gloves, a pack of Cuppa Soups and more. The group has made some good local relationships and some donations of food are given as well. The local sandwich chain Pret A Manger donate lots of left-­over food every Sunday which the volunteers go and collect for distribution at the soup kitchen.


FEED GLASGOW Feed Glasgow was established in 2011. Since then the project has provided over 3,000 meals to some of the most needy people in Glasgow.. Sandy McLeod is a Project Manager at Blue Triangle Housing Association, Glasgow and commented after receiving some food donations from the Feed Glasgow team “This is a very generous and charitable offer which will make a difference to people who are homeless DQGRQORZEHQHÀWV2XUUHPLWLVWRVXSSRUW people out of homelessness and into their own DFFRPPRGDWLRQDQGHPSOR\PHQW7KLVLVGLIÀFXOW to achieve on an empty stomach so what you are doing can help in changing someone’s life.” Paul McNamee, Editor of the Big Issue was invited as a speaker to an event organised by the ISB in Glasgow where he shared some of his experiences and answered questions. In 2012, the ISB launched a fundraising campaign raising money for four national charities and one was the Big Issue Foundation. Our approach has always been to look for partners to work with. So much good work around feeding and helping homeless people already exists, Muslims do not need to reinvent the wheel, collaborate and the results can be amazing! CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

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RAMADAN GENEROSITY No other time in the Muslim calendar sees more generosity and community spirit than in Ramadan. Five years ago, using only social media and word of mouth, Muslim students started Flashmob Iftars. A fantastic display of generosity mixed with a student spirit of ‘just do it’ saw some inspirational moments of communities coming together as Muslim students and families worked with homeless charities across the country and shared food with needy people at the time of Iftar (fast breaking). Since then it has become more common to see ‘Iftars with the homeless’ all over the country. It just needed an idea

mixed with a generous dose of enthusiasm and the community responded. In Preston, ‘Experiencing Ramadan’ has seen people who aren’t Muslim fast with their Muslim colleagues and then a collective Iftar is organised and money raised for charity. In 2013 The Big Iftar was run all over the FRXQWU\IRUWKHÀUVWWLPH0RVTXHVRSHQHG their doors as people came in to share the experience of the best part of the Ramadan day – the meal in the evening. David Cameron attended North Manchester Jamia Mosque, Cheetham Hill and helped prepare the Iftar!

Comedian Jason Manford tweeted that he would love to share a meal with a Muslim family as part of the Dine@Mine Ramadan project. Within minutes he got an invite and that evening found himself at the home of a family in Manchester. He shared his experiences and positive messages to his thousands of fans on social media.


RAMADAN TENT, SOAS LONDON Students were in action at SOAS in London during Ramadan 2013 when student, Omar Salha led a group of young volunteers to set up the Ramadan Tent. Serving food every evening during Ramadan and with inspirational guest speakers, the Tent became the place to be not just for students who had been fasting but for fellow students from different backgrounds and for the local homeless too. They formed partnerships with local organisations and charities including St Mungo’s and over 4000 people were fed during the month. Guest speakers were invited every evening to share thoughts about themselves or their work and a special Eid event was organised once the month had come to an end.

I felt proud and privileged to have experienced such sharing, generosity and sense of community. I left feeling happy that this was such a positive opportunity for others to appreciate the true spirit of Ramadan.”

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INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE MADE in Europe is a youth-­led campaigning charity that mobilises young Muslims to become leaders in WKHĂ€JKWDJDLQVWSRYHUW\KXQJHUDQG injustice. One of their current campaigns is Green Up My Community!, training young people to work with mosques to become more environmentally sustainable and activities have ranged from setting up a community food plot to running environmental education sessions for madrassahs. Sarah Javaid, Executive Director, says “Our aim is to support young Muslims to live more responsibly by being conscious of the impact that our individual choices and actions have on fellow human beings and the planet.â€?

Lincoln University Islamic Society

have organised a number of innovative initiatives with other students and in their local community. From charity ‘Bake-­ Offs’ to litter picking, to working with the local school showing how to plant seeds and be aware of green issues. Youth activism at its best!

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MADE in Europe inspired me so much and really encouraged me to go for it! I cannot explain how I felt when I came to the training and saw the work that MADE in Europe is doing. I have been waiting for this organisation all my life

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“Our  aim  is  to  support   young  Muslims  to  live  more   responsibly  by  being  conscious   of  the  impact  that  our   individual  choices  and  actions   have  on  fellow  human  beings   and  the  planet.”

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YMCA & KHIDMA The word Khidma in Arabic means service to others. .KLGPD&RPPXQLW\7UXVWLVDQRQSURÀW grassroots organisation established to address social issues faced by the communities in Slough. During Ramadan 2013 volunteers arranged meals with the homeless and the response was overwhelming, The residents and staff made the volunteers feel welcome and they felt a more regular session was possible. Residents had previously only received breakfast on Fridays, Khidma volunteers have now set up regular meals with residents at the YMCA. The trust between volunteers and residents has continued to develop and more projects are in the pipeline. Development Manager at the YMCA, Jatinder Rankhar, said “Thank you Khidma! We really appreciate the donation of food given by Khidma. It is really rare for us to have cooked food donated to us”.

I want more of it and would love it to be more than once a month! It is a great laugh with the volunteers and I get to meet new people.


RUMI’S KITCHEN Rumi’s Kitchen was initially developed as a project to serve and support homeless people. They continue to welcome those who are homeless, whilst also reaching out to other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. They have four simple but noble aims: ‡&UHDWHDstable and safe space in the community where people who do not normally meet in their daily lives, meet, begin relationships that are nurtured into friendships, and come to know, respect, understand and trust one another. ‡5HDFKRXWWRWKHisolated – those who lack a safety net of family, friends and community to support them when things go wrong. ‡+HOSSHRSOHWRrealise their potential – their talents, aspirations, and their hopes. ‡3URYLGHDKHDOWK\DQGQXWULWLRXVhomecooked meal for people who usually otherwise would not get that.

I like everything…I like the biscuits. Tea. Coffee. The people. It’s nice, it’s clean CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

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COMMUNITY RADIO

Community radio stations provide a good platform to share good news and initiate campaigns while building bridges between communities.

Unity  FM,  Birmingham The team at Unity FM have run some very popular and necessary health awareness campaigns over the years including topics such as giving blood, cancer appeals and diabetes awareness, working with colleagues from the NHS. They have also teamed up with Birmingham Healthy Minds and the Latif Project to raise awareness of mental health issues and how it affects all communities. Unity FM was commended by senior NHS colleagues for its work in raising awareness of mental health in the Muslim community and for acting as a trusted avenue for people who may not always get in touch with statutory bodies. Important partnerships have been developed with a variety of different organisations and businesses. These include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, the Arts Council and Birmingham Hospitals and Hospices who all recognise that they can gain access to new audiences through radio. Acorns Childrens’ Hospice provides

children who have life-­limiting and life-­threatening conditions, and their families, round the clock support. Prior to the work with Unity FM many of the listeners were unaware of the service on offer and now many are EHQHÀWLQJIURPWKHVXSSRUWWKH\ need. “it is a really good platform and we have always used many innovative ways to get messages across. Our presenters are passionate about what they do and the listeners give us good feedback saying that our shows are relevant and of meaning to them.” Run almost entirely by volunteers, Unity FM programmes are now shared to community radio stations in major UK towns and cities as well as to stations in Canada, the USA and South Africa. They have a good relationship with the team at Inspire FM and some joint initiatives are being planned for the future.


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“Sometimes more than 50 volunteers were there in an evening helping pack boxes including children and young people from the local Scouts group. By the end of the week we had packed over 270 boxes of more than 5000 items of food.�

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Inspire  FM, �� Luton With rising energy prices, a FXWLQZHOIDUHEHQHĂ€WVDQG everyday living expenses continuing to rise, Inspire FM in Luton ran a campaign to help individuals who were struggling to provide for themselves and their families during the winter months. Working with the already existing Luton FoodBank, the Inspire FM team put together a campaign of raising awareness using ELOOERDUGVOHDĂ HWVEXVLQHVV partnerships and a special ‘Surviving Winter’ broadcast throughout the week including guest speakers from the FoodBank and Luton Borough Council. YouTube and Facebook were also utilised to spread the word. A ‘Pack A Food

Parcel’ campaign was launched, encouraging the community to ‘Buy A Little Extra’ during their usual weekly shop. Faiz Nabi from Inspire FM said: “The response was amazing! (YHQEHIRUHWKHRIĂ€FLDO launch of the campaign, food started arriving at the studio! Sometimes more than 50 volunteers were there in an evening helping pack boxes including children and young people from the local Scouts group. By the end of the week we had packed over 270 boxes of more than 5000 items of food. The partnership between Inspire FM and Luton FoodBank was strengthened and the awareness in our communities is so much better than it was beforeâ€?.

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INTERFAITH PARTNERSHIPS The Jewish community in the UK have some fantastic projects that support and develop the essence of social action, working together, helping others. 3URMHFWVVXFKDV-+XEWKH-HZLVK9ROXQWHHULQJ Network and Mitzvah Day are examples that Muslim community leaders are increasingly becoming motivated by and partnerships need to be nurtured and developed further. Reinventing the wheel from scratch is simply not necessary! Launched in 2005, every year on Mitzvah Day an astounding 25,000+ people say ‘yes’ to social action and giving, spreading goodness, repairing the broken and quite simply, making the world a better place. Now a well-­ anticipated focal point in the British Jewry’s annual calendar, Mitzvah Day galvanises participants – regardless of age, faith, DIĂ€OLDWLRQJHQGHURUVRFLRHFRQRPLFSRVLWLRQ – to donate their time and energy to a diverse range of vital causes that make a tangible difference to those in need. Imaginative hands-­on projects are created that play a pivotal part in building stronger communities, creating durable links between different faiths and charities and cultivating valuable relationships with other faith groups. Soup kitchens, supermarket collections, visiting the elderly and more. The list of projects gets longer every year! In 2013, Jewish and Muslim women came together to cook for the homeless in a project led by Denise Phillips, author and well known chef. The participants discussed different challenges faced within their communities as well as striking up conversations about home and family life.

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The spirit and warmth of the women showed a desire to learn more about one another and to think about how they can do more together. The buzz in the room was extraordinary and numbers were being exchanged by the end

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For International Women's Day 2014, 130 Jewish and Muslim women came together at an event hosted by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi at the Foreign DQG&RPPRQZHDOWK2IĂ€FH7KH\GLVFXVVHG creative and productive ways that the two groups could work together with the heading 'Together, women can....."


SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS

The vouchers arrived safely and I have now got a hoover and a microwave/oven. I just want to thankyou so much and let you know how much this is appreciated. Things like this make all the difference to people like me and my little girl after being in such a bad situation, it has helped us greatly to start our lives again. People have no idea how hard it is when suddenly everything you ever owned has been taken from you and this has made a big difference to us

Al Mizan Charitable Trust reached out to affected families during the ÁRRGVWRR Throughout the year they run a grants programme offering up to £500 to families in desperate need for essential housing appliances, training courses, social care and welfare support. Two-­thirds of their EHQHÀFLDULHVDUHQRW0XVOLPV In 2013 they supported just over 1,000 people with grants, in-­kind food parcels and winter packs

The Peace Centre Foodbank opened in Leicester in 2013 to meet growing GHPDQGVIURPIDPLOLHVZKRZHUHÀQGLQJ LWGLIÀFXOWWREX\WKHLUZHHNO\IRRGDQG necessities. Non-­perishable items can be dropped off at a number of convenient locations in the area throughout the week and they are then delivered to needy families. The Foodbank is run by volunteers and is also part of the Islamic Society of Britain’s ‘Eat n Meet’ project alongside the Saturday Stop-­By, a weekly soup kitchen for homeless people in parts of Leicester providing hot meals and a place to socialise.

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A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH UK based Muslim led charities are increasingly being questioned and challenged on how much work they are supporting here in the UK. The large relief charities collect millions of pounds in donations every year and are channeling that to some of the most needy people in the world, regardless of their faith. Research has shown that the Muslim communities in Britain are amongst the most generous of all groups. Partnerships are a positive way forward across faith groups and between charities and other voluntary sector organisations all working with a focus on the UK. This, of course, does not need to take away the important and life-­changing work that the charities do in other countries. Our Haven Women’s Pilot Project was launched in September 2013 and saw Human Appeal International, Amirah Foundation and I Dare U working in close partnership for the ÀUVWWLPH1XUMDKDQ.KDWXQVDLG´ZHKDYH been doing this work for many years and very successfully. But to take things to the next level, we need money, we need support from the big UK charities that we feel should be helping us. The project involved more than twenty women from Birmingham and London who had suffered from domestic abuse and were

We have proven how well it can work and are grateful to Human Appeal for the support they have shown during this pilot phase”.

struggling to put their lives back together. The programme consisted of three main stages: Road To Recovery, identifying needs and developing a way of understanding what had happened to them. Counselling to LQGLYLGXDOO\KHOSWKHZRPHQDGGUHVVVSHFLÀF issues and look in-­depth at how to resolve them. And the I Dare U Journey provided each woman with inspiration alongside practical tools to overcome barriers and work towards making their goals a reality. Many of the women have gone on to set up their own businesses or get back to work. “The success rate has been amazing!”


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Part  of  the  21st  Islam  Awareness  Week,  launched  in  1994.  

Supported by Faith at home

isb.org.uk Facebook.com/BritIslam


Charity Begins At Home brochure