Supporting Humanity is getting more young people to volunteer with them in a very unique way.
Most of the charities work is around mental health, but it also includes involves bereavement counselling with young people and families and working very closely with funeral directors and cemeteries.
In partnership with the Patel Muslim Burial Trust, the charity is getting more young people volunteering at burial grounds to assist with cleaning up the burial site, digging graves to prepare them for Muslim burials and help make timber frames for the graves.
The idea is the brainchild of founding member of Supporting Humanity Idris Patel who came up with a way to engage with young people as young as 12.
Idris has been doing this for 8 years himself and feels that encouraging the youth to help out has been a major part of getting the Patel Muslim Burial Ground up to scratch and really helps with getting the youth to think about their own mortality.
“I wanted to get young people involved in the cemetery because charity work is extremely rewarding and until the youth do it they don’t realise how good it makes them feel, it also gets the young people out and keeps them active and fit as it’s not easy work, digging is hard!
There is also a serious side of this as some of the youth who have been involved with the charity work would have gone off the rails if it hadn’t been for the work going on. It gives them a focus and achievement to help”.
There is an unfortunate side to volunteering as the graveyard has been busy over the course of 2020 due to the number of Covid related deaths. With the saddening statistic that those in the South Asian are at greater risk of dying from the virus. It is even more important that more volunteers have stepped up to help the Patel Muslim Burial Ground. Some of the young volunteers have felt the need to help even more as they have lost loved grandparents.