Secret Sheikh 2021

GROUPS UNITE TO GIVE GIFTS

Two local community organisations are teaming up to provide the perfect gift to young people in Blackburn.

(left to right) Phil Boulding (Secret Santa) Anneka iqbal (One Voice Blackburn), Karen Boulding (Secret Santa), inside the Secret Santa shop

Secret Sheikh is a joint collaboration by Secret Santa and One Voice Blackburn aiming to give out presents to local young people on Eid. The community interest companies work together during Christmas to provide gifts to children over the festive period.

Secret Santa delivered over 7000 presents to children over Christmas 2020 despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

The campaign ‘Give a Child a Gift this Eid’ aims to raise enough money to give out 300 gift bags including a main present, a book, and confectionery. One Voice Blackburn’s Women’s Network will then support the delivery of the gifts to a number of schools and community groups across Blackburn with Darwen.

One Voice Blackburn is a community group that aspires to create cohesive, aspirational and confident communities in Blackburn with Darwen. It was launched in 2011 and runs various projects on health, empowerment, leadership and cohesion.

Phil and Karen Boulding, from Lower Darwen, started Secret Santa for Christmas 2017. Secret Santa is based on the edge of Blackburn Mall on King William Street, Blackburn.

“We have always supported Secret Santa wherever possible over Christmas, and we are delighted that the two groups can work together over Ramadan and Eid. This is a fantastic example of community cohesion work to support all young people in the local Borough,” said Isma Sajid from Women’s Network, One Voice Blackburn.

The gifts will be handed out a week before Eid, which is around early May 2021. The presents will be given to primary aged children.

Phil Boulding, from Secret Santa said,

“We love working together to strengthen our different communities, our Muslim friends are always amongst the first to step forward to assist us, in times of crisis or need, and it’s only appropriate that we support them at a time that has great significance for them.

“At the end of the day, we are sadly surrounded by a much larger proportion of children living in poverty than most anywhere else in the UK. We just couldn’t imagine the pain of a child that gets nothing, that just shrugs his or her shoulders, as yet another year of missing out passes by. We would invite anyone that wishes to support us, to donate via Just Giving, or drop a main present into the Secret Santa shop.”

To donate towards the campaign please visit: www.JustGiving.com/Crowdfunding/SecretSheikh