Young people from the Young in Covid: The Silent Pandemic have spent the day preparing food hampers for asylum seekers and refugees alongside the film’s director, Sofia Buncy DL, and West Yorkshire Police.
The team at the Khidmat Centres have spent the day filling around forty hampers to donate through BIASAN and (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network) and Refugee Action.
The hampers form part of the Khidmat Centres yearly Christmas celebration, which is now in its tenth year.
The Christmas hampers contain all the traditional trimmings, except for swapping turkey for chicken and sausages, and sometimes swapping Brussel sprouts for lentils, something that is more suitable to refugee families’ food palate.
Due to rising cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, the Khidmat Centre has made the hard decision to not host the dinner in person and are delivering Christmas dinners to the elderly in their homes instead.
Numan Arain, 19, is one of the Young in Covid stars who helped fill the hampers. He said: “It is important to me to support the destitute since there is a rise of people requiring help and support that cannot be accessed easily. It is important to help people from a different background to me since Bradford is a multicultural society with hundreds of nationalities. Poverty doesn’t discriminate between faiths and nationalities.”
Mr Arain added: “Helping others is a way to show gratitude and it drives me to support more people. I will spend Christmas day by taking part in the Khidmat Centres annual Christmas dinner by helping distribute food to the elderly.”
Sofia Buncy DL, the national coordinator of the Khidmat Centres said: “It is a pleasure to once again be leading this year’s 10th annual Christmas dinner for elders and hamper initiative for refugee families on the part of Khidmat Centres on their landmark tenth anniversary.
“We have endeavoured to make each year special and one that everybody involved will remember.
This year, we continue to see the adverse impact which the pandemic continues to have on individuals and families by way of food poverty, loneliness, and isolation.
“We have noted an increased demand for our hot meal provision for elders and at the same time are hugely encouraged by the new partners joining our initiative such as the Young in Covid team and West Yorkshire Police to meet increasing demands on packing and deliveries
Marium Zumeer, 20, contracted Covid-19 last year and was in the hospital for several weeks in a coma. During this time, she lost her grandfather, due to the virus as well. Miss Zummer still has Long Covid but is doing much better now.
She said: “Coming from a multicultural background it is my duty to serve my community by putting a smile on their face in every way possible. Diversity is built of different people coming together. Supporting and uplifting each other.”
Miss Zumeer added: “What I get out of helping others is indescribable. It’s fulfilment and just happiness knowing that you’ve done something to make somebody else happy.
“I’m a bit older now so I don’t get the latest baby Annabelle for Christmas so I will spend the day cooking up a feast in the kitchen.”