Banbury Mosque among community groups commended by the Queen's Office

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The Banbury Mosque is among several organisations commended with a letter of gratitude from the Oxfordshire representative of the Queen's Office.

Oxfordshire's Lord-Lieutenant, Tim Stevenson OBE, wrote a letter to officials at the Banbury Mosque thanking them for their efforts to the help and serve the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter said: "(Sir) Tony Baldry has told me what a very special and important job you, your Chairman Hassan and your team of more than 40 volunteers have done in setting up and running the Community Fridge at the Merton Street Mosque.

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"An enterprise of this sort needs commitment, enthusiasm and focus and, of course, the ability to raise the money to finance it.

Volunteers stand outside the Banbury MosqueVolunteers stand outside the Banbury Mosque
Volunteers stand outside the Banbury Mosque

"As Her Majesty the Queen's representative in Oxfordshire I would like to thank you all very much on behalf of us all for your example of community spirit in getting this project up and running."

Volunteers with the Banbury Mosque and the community fridge have delivered more than 1,500 isolation food packs to vulnerable people in the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers of the service from the Banbury Mosque have been arranging food and isolation pack deliveries for people in self-isolation who are vulnerable and or over the age of 65.

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The self-isolation kits include rice, pasta, soup, a drink, bread and fish tins. More than 40 volunteers have been helping in the efforts to provide for the community.

Abu Hassan Hanif, chairman of the Banbury Mosque, at centreAbu Hassan Hanif, chairman of the Banbury Mosque, at centre
Abu Hassan Hanif, chairman of the Banbury Mosque, at centre

Abu Hassan Hanif, chairman of the Banbury Mosque, said: "All praise is for God almighty. It is always a nice feeling for your actions to be appreciated and commended. I would like to thank all those who have sent messages of thanks and appreciation.

"I would like thank each and everyone who have been involved, especially the volunteers who have been working tirelessly and selflessly to make this happen.

"On a personal note, I pray our work is accepted by our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and in the divine court of God Almighty (Amen).

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"On behalf of Banbury Madni Mosque I would like to say a massive thank you to our volunteers who are from different faiths, who have been delivering and preparing the food packs.

"The power of unity is and always will be far greater than those who seek to divide us."

Sir Tony Baldry, who is the High Steward for Banbury and a deputy lieutenant for the Oxfordshire's Lord-Lieutenant, said letters of thanks were also sent to the Citizens Advice / Volunteer Driver / Foodbank project distributing food boxes, the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) volunteer project and Katharine House Hospice.

Victoria Prentis, member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, also wrote a letter of thanks to the Banbury Mosque.

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She said: “I am astounded by the dedication and selflessness of so many volunteer groups across North Oxfordshire during the coronavirus response.

"I would particularly like to thank the Banbury Mosque and wish a happy and blessed Ramadan to all.

"The Mosque have been invaluable in delivering food parcels to the most vulnerable in our community. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time and effort to help those who are shielding or vulnerable during this time.

"I have heard, first-hand, how important this service is and can not thank you enough for the speed at which deliveries were made available.

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"In particular, I would like to thank all who have volunteered their time and efforts to allow deliveries to reach as many households as possible."

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