On 13 May 2021, the Muslim community in Lambeth celebrated the festival of Eid. Partnering with the local mosque, the KN Centre, Ash-Shahada’s CEO Toaha Qureshi MBE, local MPs Florence Eshalomi and Bell Ribeiro-Addy and local Councillor Irfan Mohammed weathered the rain for the presents to be handed out to young children and parents.  

Lambeth’s Cllr Anna Birley started her initiative to bring happiness to children in the wake of COVID-19’s impact on children this year with more and more being affected by the pandemic. Working with local people including Cllr Irfan Mohammed and our Director Umar Mahmood, the initiative was a great success for Christmas with children being gifted toys.

Florence Eshalomi MP, Cllr Irfan Mohammed and Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP brace the rain as they hand out gifts to children under a marquee.

Fellow councillor and Ash-Shahada board member Cllr Irfan Mohammed said the collection of some of the gifts should also be dedicated to the festival of Eid, following the holy month of Ramadan. Along with ASHA Director Umar Mahmood, numerous volunteers gave up their time to collect, drop off, clean and hand out the toys at the local mosque. Hundreds of toys and books were collected and presents were also provided to local women’s group and Lambeth based CIC, New Vision for Women, who handed out books and toys during a Friday outdoor give away. 

Toys handed out to young children by Florence Eshalomi MP and Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Streatham MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “Ash Shahada’s Christmas and Eid gift-giving sessions embodied the amazing cross-faith community spirit and charity I’ve seen from local faith groups during the pandemic, working to ensure the most disadvantaged children in our borough received gifts. They have given so much to the local area and beyond over the last year, offering solidarity and hope throughout a very difficult time.”

One of the recipients parents said: “This is a really lovely gesture, you’ve made my child’s day. Hours of play and happiness because all of you thought about the community at this important time. Community spirit at its finest!”. Another said: “I love how everyone has come together despite the pandemic and the weather. These books are amazing, all the kids at home are going to love them and they’ve got their bedtime stories sorted! Ash-Shahada are a core part of the community and as a tenant our views being listened to for this kind of activity is amazing.” Nighat Khan of New Vision for Women said: “New vision For Women were delighted to be part of Ash Shahada Eid giftgiving project as a beneficiary. At the Eid party celebrations inClapham, children were very excited to receive books and toys . We arevery grateful for this generous gesture, especially for our families inLambeth its been challenging and difficult year. These gifts brought joyand smiles on children and mothers faces, thank you.”