Andrew Stunnell MP has praised the UK's oldest British Muslim Youth Association for its services to humanity on the occasion of the launch of a new blood donation drive at London’s oldest purpose-built mosque.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) is organising the blood donations as part of its' commitment to donate more than 10,000 units of blood, sufficient to save up to 30,000 lives.
Over the coming 12 months, members of the community aim to establish blood centres at a number of mosques and community centres across the country. This includes western Europe’s largest mosque in Morden and other Mosques and community centres situated in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff and Glasgow.
The first blood drive is being launched on Thursday 20th December 2012 at the Fazl Mosque (also known as the London Mosque) in Southfields, Putney.
“All faith communities have within their teaching, the values of compassion, care and social justice. One of the ways that their members put these values into everyday practice is by giving to others. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community has long served local communities. Charity walks have raised over a million pounds and their work with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has been running for the past decade. This is a very valuable, practical initiative to promote social action.”
Farooq Aftab, National Spokesperson of the AMYA stated:
“We have been working with the National Blood Service for the past decade and in recent years a number of our Mosques have become permanent NHSBT venues. The blood donation sessions are open to all, and have in the past proved popular with local residents. Our role has become particularly important given that there is a shortage of south Asian donors in the UK.
''As the giving of blood helps to save lives, it is an essential part of our faith to hold these drives. The Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to the whole of mankind and so – regardless of a person's nationality, faith, gender or background – it is important that as British Muslims we continuously look for meaningful ways to help our fellow citizens.''
Theo Clarke, Lead Donor Relations Manager for BME and special projects with NHSBT stated:
“It’s great to have the ongoing support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in promoting blood donation and I thank them for their work. Often, rare blood groups are more common within certain ethnic groups, so encouraging people with rarer blood types to donate is a constant challenge. We're grateful for all support from the Asian community and hope the AMYA reach their target of 2,000 blood donations.”