Royal recognition for voluntary group

Royal recognition for voluntary group

By Admin | 29/06/2022

Royal recognition for voluntary group


A COMMUNITY group which has been busy spreading goodwill since the CSE scandal rocked Rotherham has been honoured with a royal seal of approval for its work.

Rotherham Friends in Need was founded by ex-councillor Raja Khan in August 2015 as “we were really concerned about the negative image of Rotherham following the Professor Jay report”.

Since then, the group has helped thousands through clothing collections and blood donations, while feeding the hungry at homelessness charity Shiloh and litter picking around the borough.

Their efforts have now been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Enterprise.

Mr Khan said: “We had a few objectives when we started.

“One was to do good deeds in the name of Muslims and engage the Muslim community in civic responsibility.

“Another aim was to promote love and tolerance among other communities.

“We asked what was the best thing to do in Islam and came to the conclusion that it is to feed the hungry and homeless.

“But we did not want to duplicate the work of others, so we formed a partnership with Shiloh.

“We were serving hot meals to the homeless at Shiloh for two years.”

The good work didn’t stop there, as Mr Khan added: “We started collecting clothes to donate, and litter picking South Yorkshire-wide.

“We thought that the emphasis must be on doing good deeds.

We have recruited blood donors at Eastwood mosque, and litter picked at Eastwood, Masbrough and Conisbrough.”

The group also formed a Rotherham Healthy Lifestyles Group, which promotes exercise and healthy eating, and has donated clothes to those in need in Kashmir.

Mr Khan said membership was not restricted to Muslims but all current members, who number more than 30, were Muslims and “we’re very choosy as we want them to agree with our aims and objectives”.

He added: “Our motto is ‘Muslims serving the community in need irrespective of race colour or creed’.”

Mr Khan said the group members felt “humbled, honoured and delighted” to be chosen for the Queen’s Award, which will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire some time next year.

“When you are doing something for the good of the community, the more people that are supporting you, it motivates you even more,” he added.

“We are delighted that people realise and appreciate all the hard work going into it.”