The Latest News from Syria Relief

Despite being famous for their charity work in Syria, Denton-based Syria Relief, have raised over £10,000 and set up a foodbank from scratch in order to support families in Tameside throughout the lockdown.

Syria Relief were driven to do this during the early stages of lockdown after some of Tameside’s foodbanks were forced to close (often due to panic buying and demand outstripping supply) and helped fill food provision gaps.

Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar, who is a medical doctor with years of experience working in the NHS, who led the project for Syria Relief says:  

“This could not have been possible without a dedicated 120 strong volunteer group of drivers, student cooks, packers and logistical support from all backgrounds.  We have been able to deliver 400 basic essential shopping bags to the elderly and isolated vulnerable households over 6 months (April to September).

“We have also supplied over 10,000 hot meals to the homeless and vulnerable households since March of this year across Tameside and Manchester.

“This has been in collaboration with Tameside outreach services: (Tameside veteran community, We shall Overcome, Tameside council), Myriad Foundation, SPIN (Supporting People in Need), As Salaam Centre outreach, APPSUK and we are still continuing to connect with other frontline service providers. I am also liaising with Tameside BAME network to explore how we can provide support for the BAME community- who face an increased risk from COVID 19 and have poorer outcomes of recovery.

“In partnership with the Union of Catholic mothers, Action Together and Age Concern, we have also been able distribute 500 healthcare packs donated in kind by Everest Pharmacy Group with scope to do more as leaflets are being distributed throughout this second lockdown period.

“We are the only group to have continuously supplied weekly hot meals since March and are continuing to build capacity both locally and in other cities by expanding our student group of batch cooks by training more people with skills for community cooking and reducing food poverty for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I have been approached by Salford College to teach batch cooking to the catering students there and am currently looking into ways that we can expand the class sizes by virtual teaching methods so students further away can also access the skills remotely and build capacity for food provision where they live to support vulnerable people. “


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