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Keighley family donates food on Queen’s Jubilee to show gratitude for help with two autistic children

Events have been held across Keighley to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with Jas Athwal DL lighting a beacon outside of Town Hall Square and a family donating food to show gratitude for all the help they’ve received with their two autistic children.

A number of events have been held across Keighley to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

People came together at Cliffe Castle yesterday for a day of family fun to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary as the Head of State in the UK.

Activities included an inflatable obstacle course for children, a climbing tower, dance, arts and crafts. In Motion: Keighley Transport Festival also took place at Castle Park on the same day for people to enjoy the two events together.

Hundreds of residents also gathered outside of Town Hall Square yesterday evening to watch the lighting of the beacon by sports-loving entrepreneur Jas Athwal, DL and the City of Bradford Pipe Band perform. More than 3,500 beacons were lit across towns, cities and villages across the UK at the same time as a principal ‘Tree of Trees’ lit up the sky outside Buckingham Palace.

Mr Hussain’s family got involved with donating the food.

This morning, a family from Keighley distributed cake, pakoras and samosas to people in their neighbourhood as a way of celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and saying thank you to this country for all the help they’re received with their two children who have disabilities.

Wheelchair-adapted minibus driver, Akhtar Hussain’s, daughter and son both have autism and receive help from the Government and the local Council. His daughter, Sofia, is 31, and his son, Fraz, is 19. Fraz attends a special school in his local community where he gets help suited to his needs.

Mr Hussain, said: “My son and daughter are autistic and to show appreciation for what this country has given me, I wanted to give back by handing out food. We want to promote our community and that we can work together and that we do care about the country.

“We have four children, my daughter, Sofia, is 31 and my son, Fraz, is 19. My other two sons are doing very well, my oldest works in the NHS with a STEM degree and my other son is studying to become a teacher.

“My wife is their carer and works really hard and I also look after them. My family also help us a lot, as well. We wanted to show appreciation for being in this country, first of all, our children wouldn’t get looked after back home because of a lack of Government facilities.

“We didn’t collect for charity, we just did it. My sister-in-law made a brownie cake for us to give away. I was praying one day and when I got out of the mosque, I was thinking about what I could do for the Platinum Jubilee, I think Allah sent the idea to me and it worked out really well. I am appreciative of the NHS and the help that disabled people receive. Everyone also really liked the fact that we were wearing Union Jack hats.”

Councillor Mohammed Nazam for Keighley Central (Con) attended the event with the Hussain family. He said: “This morning, I attended an event with a family who distributed food to people who were passing the street outside Asda. They did it to show appreciation for the help that this country has given them with their two autistic children.

Residents in Keighley got to enjoy a classic car show as part of the Jubilee celebrations.

“It was a pure family event, there were no dignitaries there, they just did it for the love of The Queen, which is amazing. They were handing out cake, samosas and pakoras that they paid for and made themselves.

“Yesterday, I attended two other events, one in Cliffe Castle and the other in Highfield Community Association. I went to thank all the volunteers at the centre for all the hard work they put in. The event was absolutely brilliant, it was great to see so many people come together, parents, children and elders.

Keighley Mayor, Luke Maunsell, said: “I am immensely proud that Keighley people came together to light a beacon to honour our beloved Queen.

“I would like to thank our Deputy Lord Lieutenant Jas Athwal for lighting the Beacon and our Town Priest Mike Cansdale for attending the event.

“For 70 years, our Queen has served this country with distinction. Throughout the world, she is a revered and respected public figure; someone who we all look to for guidance in times of crisis and who very much came into her own during the recent Covid pandemic.

“Her landmark achievement warrants nothing, but the finest celebration and I hope she knows just how much she means to her country, her citizens and the world.”

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