On Tuesday 19th January 2016, iERA took part in a local community event in conjunction with Kilburn Sainsbury’s and ‘Elders Voice’, a small charity in the heart of Kensal Green, which has been working with older people since 1993.
iERA purchased and distributed much-needed winter items to the elderly from a fund that was generously raised by the local Muslim community in Brent, which included blankets, gloves, socks, thermal wear, hats, slippers, scarves, cardigans, hot water bottles and flasks.
The Elder Voice Day Centre who cater for the elderly who suffer from dementia, were thrilled by the Winter Gifts kindly donated by the Muslim community. Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Davidson, said: “I think today was an incredible success on many levels“.
According to national statistics obtained by Age UK, there has been an average of 26,700 excess winter deaths in England and Wales over the last 10 years. Each winter, one elderly person dies needlessly every seven minutes due to the cold weather – that’s 200 deaths a day which could be prevented.”
This is a shocking statistic, and something that should concern us as Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Man is doomed and a loser if Allah does not put compassion for mankind in his heart.” (Al-Silsilah Al-Saheehah)
Islam teaches Muslims to be compassionate and merciful for those within our community, especially the vulnerable and needy. Among those who fall into this category are the elderly; irrelevant of their race, religion or gender.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He is not one of us who does not show mercy to our young ones and respect our old ones.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to show compassion towards the elderly as a sign of mercy towards those in need. With more budget cuts taking place every year, the plight of the elderly has sparked a renewed interest amongst many organisations and individuals across the UK. Many have emphasised that the elderly are not receiving the respect and dignity they deserve.
Karolina Eliza Januszek, Communications and Operations Manager for Elders Voice added that: “The Opportunity to have three communities, One Community (iERA), Elders Voice and Sainsbury’s Kilburn coming together and working with the elderly suffering from dementia, is a fantastic thing.”
One of the main objectives of this initiative was to set up guidelines to motivate Muslim communities to provide essential items that can help keep the elderly warm throughout the winter, as well as keeping them company on a regular basis.
Going forward, Elders Voice look forward to working with iERA on future projects and campaigns, and hope to build a long term relationship with the Muslim community so they can offer their support to the elderly.
If you would like to set up a similar campaign in your area, or you would like to get involved in similar campaigns, please visit: http://www.ouronecommunity.com/campaigns/elderly-care-project/