What does a faith inspired jewellery brand and thousands of students across the country, taking part in hundreds of activities, in a week of frenzied fundraising have to do with each other?

Well, both Soul Gems London and student Islamic Societies (ISOCs) across the country are supporting this year’s Charity Week, which launched this week and aims to raise over £1million in the space of just one week to support orphans and vulnerable children across the globe.

And, of course, this year’s Charity Week has the added challenge of taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic which means that activities will take place within the rules for social distancing. However, this hasn’t dampened the students’ ambition to beat last year’s figure of £1.35million which was raised by students from schools, colleges and universities across the country.

Activities are organised by the ISOCs and this year range from daredevil 160 feet bungee jumps around the UK to the quirky Smarties 20 Tube Challenge. There are also the traditional bake sales, car washes and bucket collections as well as a myriad of other events taking place nationally. Events are taking place in Bradford, Birmingham, Scotland, Manchester, London and Wales to name a few.

This year, Soul Gems London, which sells jewellery with meaningful, faith inspired messages and Arabic calligraphy is supporting Charity Week. The brand was launched during Ramadan 2020, at the height of the lockdown, by Hasina Momtaz, in loving memory of her son, Sami Ahmed, who tragically passed away in 2014 at the age of 18.

Hasina Momtaz

Speaking about why supporting Charity Week is a cause very close to her heart, Hasina Momtaz, Founder of Soul Gems London, said:

“Being able to support Charity Week is an honour for me, both as a mother and an entrepreneur. Whilst my son is no longer here, there are millions of children and orphans around the world who are here and desperately need our help, particularly during this pandemic.

“Doing our bit for charity is something that Sami was very conscious of. During the Ramadan before his death, Sami fundraised as a volunteer for a charity, just like the young students taking part in Charity Week.

“As a brand whose core values are faith based, supporting Charity Week is very much a part of our ethos. The projects supported with the money raised by Charity Week are life changing for the beneficiaries. I think Sami would be truly happy that the brand set up in his memory is supporting this amazing work.”

Dr Wajid Akhter, one of the founders of Charity Week, said:

“Charity Week is a vehicle for the simple idea that we are all better off when we work together. Only when we are united can we face the greatest challenges before us – including child poverty. We don’t want to choose between disasters or countries, between healthcare or education, between helping today or helping tomorrow. We want to unite so we don’t need to choose at all.”

Speaking about the collaboration with Soul Gems London, Dr Akhter, said:

“When brands like Soul Gems London collaborate with Charity Week, it doesn’t make much business sense. There is hardly any exposure or financial benefit to gain. What they are saying though, is that they are about something much more than the bottom line. They are saying that they believe in a world that doesn’t yet exist, a more merciful, more just and more united world. And that they are willing to work with others to help it come about.”

Safaa Ahmed, a student from London who is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths and is fundraising for this year’s Charity Week, said:

“There have been a few difficulties in the process of organising events due to COVID-19, however we have been able to overcome them with the thought that whatever we raise, even if it is not as much as we expected, will go to the most deprived of our Ummah”.

Soul Gems London is supporting the fundraising through donating pieces from their Collections which are being auctioned off at a finale speaker-studded dinner on Saturday 31st October organised by Woodside ISOC. The pieces shown as well as others are up for grabs to the highest bidder. They have also pledged to support Charity Week every year. In addition, all students in the U.K. will receive a discount throughout the year, on all their Collections.

The finale dinner starts at 6.45pm and the auctions follow afterwards at around 8.50pm. This year it is taking place online due to the pandemic. Members of the public can join online to hear the speakers and also bid for various auction lots by using this link:https://form.jotform.com/202974031249353

To read more about Hasina and Sami’s story, please visit: www.soulgems.london

For more information about Charity Week or about the projects supported by the fundraising that Charity Week does, please visit: https://charityweek.com/