Hand on Heart, a project under Al-Mizan Charitable Trust used the month of Ramadan to provide vital support to those vulnerable and living on the streets of London. The organisation was awarded £6,452 through the London Community Response Fund and, with the help of 25 families (almost 100 volunteers), was able to provide over 540 essential packs to homeless people throughout central London containing hygiene supplies and clothing, as well as a few extras.
The government has committed to housing all rough sleepers in temporary accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, homelessness is still very much an issue on the streets of London.
“For whatever reason, there are still many rough sleepers on the streets of London”, said Afzal Pradhan BEM, Hand on Heart Project Leader. “It is during this period more than ever that the homeless need help”.
Afzal, honoured by Her Majesty the Queen with a BEM in the 2020 New Years Honours, operates the Hand on Heart project with his wife Asifa to supply thousands of vital supplies to the homeless. To observe the month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid, Hand on Heart, with the help of several local families, assembled the essential packs which included hand sanitizers, wet wipes, socks and underwear. In addition, each pack was accompanied with an Eid card containing a message of support, written by the family of volunteers. The packs were also distributed with a cupcake which included a message of, ‘Eid Mubarak’.
By partnering with other local organisations and with the help of the volunteers, a total of 540 packs were distributed across London, including Trafalgar Square, Holborn, Kings Cross, Tottenham Court Road, and Watford.
“During the distribution of packs, the words of gratitude and appreciation of the packs were overwhelming”, said Afzal. “The recipients not only appreciated the packs and items, but they were extremely grateful for the Eid cards and cupcakes. They felt a sense of knowing people out there wanted to help regardless of age, culture or background.
The grant from The London Community Foundation has allowed us to serve the homeless and people in need” said Afzal. “Without the grant we would not have been able to perform this project”.