How British Sikh and Muslim volunteers are helping the homeless during the big freeze
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 2nd March 2018

As snow, ice and strong winds have paralysed parts of the UK, thousands of schools have been shut and even more homes have lost power.

But among the most vulnerable are homeless people who face dangerous conditions and the prospect of freezing to death or dying of starvation.

In response a number of volunteer groups across the country, aided by Gurdwaras and Mosques, have tried to help the homeless and the hungry.

"This year, the weather has been really bad, the number of rough sleepers in the town has grown immensely so we really felt like this was the right thing to do," said Mohammed Iqbal, imam at the European Islamic Centre in Oldham.

The mosque is operating as an overnight shelter for anyone in need of refuge from the streets.

Same for the Leeds Mosque, whose spokesperson told Leeds Live: "By the grace of Allah, Leeds Grand Mosque is pleased to announce that we have been in contact and arranged with Leeds City Council to provide shelter for homeless people during the extreme weather.

The Leeds Mosque is also appealing to the community to " share in this good work" by donating air beds, sleeping bags and warm coats.

Finsbury Park Mosque, Canterbury Mosque and Dublin's Clonskeagh Mosque have also opened their doors to the homeless and have been trying to feed people.

"The temperature is pretty severe, so we thought, 'Why don't we do something to help?'" Rabnawaz Akbar, a trustee of Makki Masjid in the northern city of Manchester, told Al Jazeera. It is offering its shower facilities to those seeking a place to stay.

Sikh groups were also doing their bit to help the homeless and hungry.

The Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team (SWAT) London team have been feeding the homeless and hungry in Slough, Windsor and London

In Northampton local Sikh volunteers also prepared food for the hungry

Langar Aid have also been out doing the same

The Midlands Langar Seva Service also tweeted:

If you can, do get involved and volunteer your time too. These people deserve all the love and support they can get.

Article published on 2nd March 2018 in the People section

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