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Muslim businesses rally in aid of frontline workers

22nd May 2020
Muslim businesses rally in aid of frontline workers

 

Zorba Meze Grill staff served free meals to Tunbridge Wells Hospital (Credit: ZMG)

Elham Asaad Buaras

From family-owned restaurants stocking up food banks, to small stores delivering services to the needy; to a furnishing company coordinating a small army of volunteers to produce much sought after Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline workers, Muslim-owned business across the UK have galvanized their staff donating their services and products in support of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pak Foods supermarket which has five stores in the Midlands and north Staffordshire helped to stock up several food banks struggling to cope with unprecedented demand during the pandemic.

They also donated large amounts of food to Green Lane Masjid Foodbank and answered a call from Cambridge Eco Mosque to provide food for Syrian refugee families for the remainder of Ramadan.

Company Director, Nabeel Akhtar, says their food donations have also been distributed to NHS staff, the elderly and vulnerable. He said, “As a family-run business, it is our duty to give back to our community during this pandemic. We are working closely with various food banks including the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank and have donated essential food items such as rice, bread, milk, oils and tinned foods.”

The company has increased its support of the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank with the provision of more food and essential items.

In Birmingham, a small home and garden furnishings company made national and international news when it provided thousands of PPE to staff across the NHS.

Operating from their premises in the city centre, Loft 25 is providing the raw materials for coveralls, which it distributes to a city-wide group of a whooping 350 sewing volunteers from Green Lane Mosque in Small Heath, Birmingham.

The volunteers then turn the raw materials into PPE, which is collected by Loft 25, before being passed on for inspection by local NHS hospitals and trusts. Zhagum Arshad, owner of Loft 25 and founder of the campaign, said the decision to help out was an easy one.

“We’re not a company that specialises in PPE – it’s not something we’d ever made before,” he said. “But we can’t just stand by and watch. In a crisis like this, it’s time to stand up and be counted. It’s time for us to do our part,” he told The Muslim News. 

Between 300 and 400 volunteer machinists have already signed up to help the campaign, with representatives from Heartlands, Solihull and Worcester Hospitals and Birmingham Mental Health Trust is already enquiring about the availability of materials.

In Tunbridge Wells, Zorba Meze Grill a Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine served over 100 meals three times to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, as well as providing halal food to all doctors and nurses. Owner Sedat Zorba told The Muslim News, “In this difficult time we want to show our support to NHS staff.”

Leadership organisation Sinan Wren UK, has distributed 5,000 of N95 FFP2 face masks, visors, coveralls, bottles of hand sanitizer and 1,000 body bags to front line NHS healthcare staff in the Homerton, the Royal London and the Whittington Hospital, the Metropolitan police, care homes, council workers, homeless projects.

The distribution and logistics teams have donated these items across the UK including the North, Midlands.

In London where the outbreak of Covid-19 has been particularly overwhelming, Sinan Wren UK worked with Finsbury Park Mosque to help distribute the PPE to the hospitals as well as to burial organisations.

 

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