Tahir Selby, Regional Missionary, North East, UK
On 31 March 2022, a cheque presentation for different charities (£500 each) was held at the Nasir Mosque, Hartlepool.
Last year in September a small charity walk was held at Ward Jackson Park, which was part of 12 simultaneous walks held on the same day throughout the country which raised over a quarter of a million pounds for different affiliated charities.
The Hartlepool branch nominated four charities and presented cheques to those charities at this event. Sadly, the Ceremonial Mayor, Mrs Brenda Loynes is no longer with us, but they collected for her two nominated charities, Alice House Hospice and Miles for Men and Women and the Deputy Mayor, Mr Rob Cook invited her husband, Mr Dennis Loynes to collect the cheques on her behalf.
A small tribute was also made for her, and he expressed his feelings and said:
“Although Brenda was ill at the time, she insisted on attending and took part for a small part of the walk which she enjoyed. We have attended a number of events at the mosque, and she was always pleased to attend. The amount of money that was raised not only for the poppy appeal, but the local charities was very good and such events and the good work that is done is very important for the whole of the country.”
The Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rob Cook said:
“It amazed me to hear of how much money had been raised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the work that they do, which was highlighted in the introduction, it is phenomenal. It was an honour being present and I am very thankful for the donation that was made to Brenda’s chosen charities.”
Other charities that were presented with cheques were St Aidan’s Church food bank and Wharton Trust Annexe Centre. The Nasir Mosque has been providing meals every week for the poor and needy over the past two years and has so far managed to donate 10,000 meals. A representative of the St Aidan’s Church said that the food was always much appreciated by the people, and they looked forward each week to receiving it.
Another tribute was made to Teresa Driver, who also sadly passed away last year and used to work closely with the mosque. In his address, Mr Sasha Bedding of the Annexe Trust said:
“It was a really moving evening and a privilege to see how our friends at the mosque have managed to raise so much money and to share it will others. It shows the mosque recognising the needs of the local community and trying to help and that is really important.”
The evening also recognised the help Ahmadi Muslims offer throughout the UK with the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal (raising over £21,000). This help was recognised by presenting certificates to the two local Ahmadi branches of Hartlepool and Newcastle, who between them raised nearly £7,000 for this appeal. Col (Rtd) Ian Simpson, MBE of the British Legion Hartlepool Branch, said:
“I am blown away by the generosity and the amount of support that the British Legion, locally, regionally and nationally have been given by the Ahmadi Muslims. We are really grateful for everything they are doing.”
Zaheer Ahmad Sahib, Chairman of the Charity Walk for Peace said:
“Although it was a small function, it was very moving, and you could see people were very emotional which was expressed in their comments. They had an opportunity to see how the Islamic teachings support charitable work.”