A Khoja-led campaign to provide disadvantaged children with back-to-school essentials has won the support of a local mayor.
650 pupils near London have each been given a free backpack stuffed with stationery and other vital supplies.
The backpacks were put together by Hand on Heart, co-founded by Stanmore Jamaat member Afzal Pradhan BEM.
Expensive time of year
The organisation usually distributes clothes and toiletries to homeless people in and around London but saw a need to help struggling families at an expensive time of the year.
“Children of disadvantaged families have suffered throughout Covid and their parents could not afford all the essential back-to-school essentials,” he said.
“Many families are struggling to put food on the table during the pandemic let alone worry about preparing their kids for school. The backpacks provide their children with basic school supplies to help with their education.
“With the new school term starting, we are showing our diversity because we normally focus on the homeless. But this time it’s low-income families where there is an immediate need. The children absolutely love their backpacks.”
The packs contain a stationery set with a writing key, folders, scissors and tape, a lunch bag, a pencil case, a water bottle, colouring pencils, an activity book and a USB light.
Hand of Heart volunteers packed 430 for primary school children and 220 for secondary school pupils. They prepared and distributed them in collaboration with Sufra NW London, the Al-Mizan Charitable Trust, Beta Charitable Trust and Ealing Soup Kitchen.
Shining a spotlight
And the campaign won the support of Peter Taylor, mayor of the town of Watford to the north of London. He paid a visit to Hand of Heart’s Watford HQ to see the backpacks being filled.
Hand on Heart has received further recognition that shines a fantastic spotlight on the work of this Khoja-led organisation.
The group featured in a half-page report in the Watford Observer for its work carried out during Covid19, as well as one BBC Three Counties Radio.
“We are incredibly proud to be given this platform,” Afzal said.
Watch the video
Watch Hand on Heart’s video on the below social media links:
See the story in the Watford Observer here
Read more about Hand on Heart here