Covid-19 hardship appeal passes £10k mark as volunteers line up to distribute food
Contributions made by alumni, staff and members of the community
A month after its launch, the University of Bradford’s Covid-19 Hardship Appeal has raised over £10,000.
The milestone was reached thanks to many generous donations from alumni, staff and members of the community - the money will be used to help students in financial distress due to the covid pandemic.
The news comes as volunteers from Bradford-based charitable organisation The VIP (Volunteering Interfaith Programme) gave up their time and spent their own money to launch the first of what could be a series of meal giveaways to university students.
VIP founder Javed Bashir, who was made an honorary doctor of the University in December, added members also made contributions to the University hardship fund.
He said: “As lockdowns and tiered restrictions continue to affect the city and university, we are responding by supporting the University with their appeal to enable students who are facing financial hardship to get the support they need. We encourage the community to support students, who are often forgotten, by supporting the Emergency Covid-19 Hardship Appeal.”
University of Bradford Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon said: “I want to express my sincere thanks to everybody who has donated to our Emergency Covid-19 Hardship Appeal, and also thank The VIP for funding and distributing meals to students over the festive period. Both initiatives show just how much our alumni and wider community have come together to ensure the welfare of our students, at what continues to be an extremely difficult time.”
Money raised will be used to support some of the poorest students, many of whom have little or no other means of financial income other than working part time - something many have been unable to do during lockdown.
Professor Zahir Irani, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford, said: “Many students rely on family support and part-time work to ensure they are financially stable. With the restrictions imposed, many job opportunities are no longer available. This has had a big impact on students and their families. So, it’s really encouraging when parts of the community work in partnership with us, to support our student community. I am really pleased to be working with VIP.”
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Nirmal Singh Sekhon MBE, Chairman of Yorkshire Sikhs Forum, said: “I am a Sikh and Sikhism teaches that everyone is equal and that people living in poverty and suffering should be helped.”
Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Manoj Joshi, a former District Governor of Rotary International and an honorary graduate of the University, said: “I am a Hindu, and for Hindus, giving is an important part of one’s religious duty. Each person has a dharma (duty) towards family, society, the world and all living things.”
The Rev Nathan Javed of GBM Churches said: “I am a Christian, and Christians believe that Jesus taught us to love God and to love thy neighbour, which are the greatest commandments. Charity is not an optional extra, but an essential component of my faith.”
Mohammed Zubair, of Masjid Quba mosque, Manningham, Bradford, said: “I am a Muslim and Zakat, or charity, is the Third Pillar of Islam. It is important that the Muslim community fulfils their charitable duty correctly and does their part in support students at the university.”