About the volunteers appreciation evening – 2022
A wonderful event to appreciate the dedicated volunteers who served tirelessly to collect donations at various London Stations and venues during the Poppy Appeal Campaign 2021 was organised at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, Surrey.
The event, co-hosted by the Royal British Legion, was held on Wednesday, 2nd March 2022 within the Tahir Hall.
The proceedings started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by AMA UK Missionary, Mr Mahmud Wardi.
The event gave an opportunity to appreciate over 900 volunteers who turned out last November at train stations and shopping centres across the country, raising money for the RBL Poppy Appeal in November 2021.
An astonishing £700,000 was raised in just 2 weeks of the national campaign. There was an outpouring of sympathy and support from the great British public who donated generously, buying branded traditional poppies, official RBL merchandise, donating cash or paying large amounts on the new wireless contactless machines.
Gail Walters (RBL’s Assistant Director for Network Engagement Regional Operations) greatly appreciated the efforts of this army of volunteers.
In London’s Tahir Hall at Baitul Futuh Mosque, amidst CWFP and RBL banners, the evening’s proceedings commenced with the traditional recitation of the Holy Quran by AMA UK Missionary Mr Mahmud Wardi.
The traditional Kohima Epitaph was then read out by Catherine Davis, Head of Remembrance at RBL, including the timeless reminder: “For your tomorrows these gave their today.”
The welcome address was given by Mr Mubashir Siddiqi, Vice Chair of CWFP and its Head of Poppy Appeal. He said the purpose of today was to show our appreciation to our volunteers for their tireless effort over the years.
Gail Walters RBL’s Assistant Director (Network Engagement Regional Operations) thanked the volunteers.
Jane Ayers, fundraising manager from RBL London gave an introduction to the evening’s certificate presentations.
The High Sheriff of Greater London, Lynn Cooper said how delighted she was to be invited back for this appreciation event. She presented a certificate of appreciation to Zaheer Ahmed, Chairman of CWFP.
Zaheer Ahmed – Chairman CWFP said
“I am thankful to the RBL to co-host today’s event and appreciate our volunteers who have done a magnificent job collecting over 690k and all within just two weeks of the Poppy Appeal Campaign 2021”. The Chairman underlined how every penny was passed on to the other charities and none was kept for administration.
There followed presentation ceremonies for cheques and certificates.
The compère for the evening, Mr Rafi Ahmad (Vice Chair CWFP), then invited The Worshipful Mayor of Sutton, Councillor Trish Fivey to say a few words:
“I am delighted to be able to join you here this evening for this wonderful appreciation event to celebrate your enormous efforts last year. I had the privilege to join you on the route of the walk itself last summer. I must say that Mayors and councillors from London boroughs, have always enjoyed attending your events and are highly appreciative of the amazing work that you do. Under your motto of Love for All, Hatred for None it is humbling to see a Muslim charity raise £700,000 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in just a few weeks. You went on to raise over £1 million across all projects, so very well done indeed.”
Although the national campaign saw over 900 volunteer-members participate, only 200 volunteers and guests were accommodated in the Tahir Hall this year due to COVID-19 precautions.
The Royal British Legion was delighted to present printed, framed appreciation certificates to each of these incredible volunteers, who removed their face masks briefly to take some memorable photos as a memento of this exceptional year.
The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association UK, Dr Ch Ijaz Ur Rehman, said
“Islam is a religion of peace and the teachings of peace mean serving mankind without giving any consideration to cast, colour, creed, faith or religion. This is what the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has been doing since its inception from the times of the Promised Messiah Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian from 1889” The President was delighted to invite the Mayor of Sutton to present Jane Ayers, the London representative of the Royal British Legion with a cheque for £690,552.38. A new record collection for Charity Walk for Peace.
Other cheques were presented on the night to the following
-Sutton Mental Health Foundation £1,200
-Home Start Sutton £800
-Brotherhood of the Cross and Star £640
-Samaritans, Redbridge Branch £2,200
(This year’s events were regionalised, with donations to various organisations scheduled to be presented within the regional events.)
At the conclusion of a unique and memorable evening, Dr Rehman led the congregation in silent prayers.
After the cheques were presented, the guests were treated to a delicious buffet dinner (including vegetarian options) and offered tours of the Baitul Futuh Mosque where the Isha (night) prayers were due to commence.
The event was covered by social media and a special news report was televised on MTA International .