One Voice will be holding a High Tea event in September to celebrate community cohesion in Blackburn and Darwen.
One Voice invite non Muslims to fast for a day in Community Cohesion Initiative. Over 200 people took part in 2017.
‘I’m not a Muslim but I will fast for one day’ started in 2014, with members of the public, officials from major local organisations, from the public and private sector taking part.
Ramadan is the holy Islamic month where Muslims forgo food and water between sunrise and sunset. A third of the population of Blackburn and Darwen is made up of the Muslim community. This year Ramadan in the UK consisted of a 19 and a half hour fast approximately.
The campaign is supported by local restaurant Bukhara Samlesbury who provide food for all participants when opening their fast.
Geoff Wilkinson, who took part in the Ramadan initiative in 2016 and 2017, and fasted for two days said,
“One of the reasons some of my colleagues fast during Ramadan is to consider those less fortunate than themselves. I took part in this initiative last year and I found it uplifting. I did not feel hunger or thirst. I could do something about those feelings later on. No, the experience made me think of those who feel hunger and thirst all the time and perhaps think of what can be done to help them. Regardless of creed or colour, we should do more to help those who can’t help themselves. Initiatives like this can make a difference and I am pleased that I can again play a part.”
Jackie McVan, Service Manager at Change Grow Live fasted for three consecutive days.
“I felt this year it was even more important to fast, to show solidarity with my friends after some of the awful and tragic events of late. We share in so many things; love, laughter, care, faith and humility. This is my way of saying – we are one!”
Chris Seddon took part in the initiative to show empathy with her Muslim friends.
“I’m not a Muslim but I’m fasting today because friends share experiences and I have many Muslim friends who I want to support by fasting for one day. Many of my friends have families who are in dire situations in different parts of the world who are without their homes and struggle every day to find enough to eat. Surely I can walk in their shoes for at least one day.”