Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS), a Batley, West Yorkshire, based community organisation, raised £15,000 for the flood affected areas in the South West of England. IMWS in partnership with its seven affiliated mosques, an association of local Islamic scholars (Rabetah-Ul-Ulema), four mosques from Dewsbury and a mosque from Huddersfield, launched an appeal to raise much needed funds for the flood affected areas.
Chair of IMWS, Mohamed Mulla, told The Muslim News, “The impact of the recent floods in parts of our country has been devastating and it has left people with damages of colossal proportion. Many people have suffered physical and psychological trauma as a result of the flooding. We all felt that we, as good citizens, should do something to help our flood stricken communities.”
The money collected will go to the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) who are already doing splendid work to help the badly affected residents. A team of volunteers representing various mosques and IMWS together with local members from Taunton and Somerset Islamic Centre, travelled to Thorney in Somerset to see first-hand the affect on flood victims’ homes.
SCF Chief Executive, Justin Sargent, paid tribute to IMWS’s “generous donation” which he said will help “to rebuild lives and livelihoods damaged by the flooding here in Somerset. It is a kind gesture from the Muslim community in Yorkshire and we are very grateful for their contribution.”
The Bishop of Taunton, Rt Revd Peter Maurice, who helped organise the visit on March 15 said: “This is such a wonderful gesture of solidarity from one community to another. It’s heartening to find that rural communities in distress in Somerset are getting support from Muslim communities in Yorkshire. We’re very grateful to the IMWS and to all the individuals who have generously contributed to the collection. We are deeply grateful for their expression of kindness, compassion and care for those affected by the flooding.”
Chair of the local Islamic Scholars, Imam Hashim Sacha, said, “This is a wonderful gesture from the people of Batley and Dewsbury which will help some victims of the flooding. It is remarkable to see once again the Muslim community coming together to help our fellow citizens.”
Kaushar Tai and Cllr. Salim Patel from the Dewsbury mosques added, “It is wonderful to see both Dewsbury and Batley people working together to collect such a large contribution which we feel that will go some way towards the flood relief.”
SCF launched its Flood Relief Fund in January and has already awarded over £230,000 in grants to more than 300 households. This support has recently been extended to small businesses as well charities and voluntary organisations at the forefront of the relief effort.
As of the middle of March the Flood Relief Fund has reached its target of £1 million, generously donated by individuals, local businesses, charitable trusts and community groups.