A Muslim organisation aiming to break down barriers between communities has doing its bit to spread some festive joy.
The Light Foundation, a leading group within Preston’s Muslim community, visited the children’s ward at Royal Preston Hospital and elderly residents at Finney House care home in Flintoff Way, handing out a range of yuletide gifts to both.
Nadeem Ashfaq from the Foundation, pictured right with Arfan Iqbal, said: “This is important especially around Christmas. There are so many issues with loneliness at the moment. For instance families might only be able to visit their elderly relatives one a week.
“All these people as part of our wider family in the Preston community.”
Former Corpus Christi Catholic College student Nadeem added: “These types of visits are important for anyone and everyone to take serious.
“Our visit felt important to us as Muslims, in breaking down these misconceptions that people may have, that we are closed community, who only look after themselves.’’
Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Karen Partington, said: “We are really appreciative of all of the visitors to our children’s ward over the holidays.
“It is an especially difficult time for the children and it is great to be able to spread some festive cheer throughout the ward.”
The Light Foundation hosts meetings on the first Thursday of every month at the Quaker Meeting House in St George’s Road.
In the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, the group held a fund-raising appeal for the Roussos family, whose eight-year-old daughter Saffie was killed in the attack.
Nadeem Ashfaq and Adam Kelwick from the Light Foundation recently answered readers’ questions on a live webcast from Post offices, as part of their 'Explore Islam' series of events.
Hundreds of people viewed the live video, with a number of those submitting questions and comments during the social media session.
The guests said they were keen to answer any “tough questions”, and tackled a variety of topics, from Islam’s relationship with other religions, to traditional dress and domestic violence.
There were also lighter questions from viewers, from opinions on music to some footballing banter.