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Council staff fast for a day to support community cohesion campaign

Published Friday 24 May 2019 at 13:49

Teams of staff from across Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council have observed a day of fasting, in a show of solidarity with their Muslim colleagues during Ramadan.

They’ve taken part in a community cohesion campaign led by One Voice Blackburn, called I’m Not A Muslim But I’ll Fast For One Day.

Now in its sixth year, the campaign invites non-Muslims to take part in a one day fast during Ramadan. Last year around 200 people took part, and already this year over 300 individuals have signed up to fast.

Abrar Hussain, Chairman of One Voice Blackburn, said:

“Ramadan is the time of year when the Muslim community take time to reflect on their lives and their spirituality. This project started with a few people fasting as non-Muslims. It has grown to something quite outstanding. This is a great sign of our unity in Blackburn and Darwen.”

A group in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Human Resources department observed the one day fast.

Helen Moran, Health, Safety & Wellbeing Consultant, commented:

“As well as supporting each other, we have been asking our Muslim colleagues for ideas and tips. It’s helped our understanding of the significance of this time of year for Muslims. Fasting wasn’t easy, particularly not being able to drink, but we are glad to have taken part and we have a greater understanding for colleagues who fast for the whole month.”

Members of the Social Integration Programme Team have also fasted for the day, alongside colleagues in Community Safety and from the Neighbourhood Learning Centres at Bank Top and Audley.

Rebecca Ramsay, Social Integration Programme Manager, said:

“I wanted to take part to have a better understanding of the fasting experience for my Muslim colleagues.

“Opportunities such as this can help us to understand more about the beliefs and practices of people from different cultural and religious backgrounds to our own, to help our community to be more accepting, tolerant and welcoming – and ultimately stronger. It’s a great campaign and I’m pleased a group of us in the social integration programme team have joined together to take part.”

Ramadan is the holy Islamic month where Muslims forgo food and water between sunrise and sunset. This year Ramadan in the UK consisted of an 18 and a half hour fast approximately.

The I’m Not A Muslim But I’ll Fast For One Day campaign is supported by Building a Stronger Britain Together. It was commended in the Inclusive Company’s Awards Marketing section in 2018.

Anyone in Blackburn with Darwen who’d like to get involved in the campaign during Ramadan can get in touch with One Voice Blackburn by emailing info@onevoicenetwork.org.uk.

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