STORIES of unity and community spririt have emerged after a fasting challenge raised more than £7,000 for 10 small Bradford charities.

Fasting Friday, which was created by The Bradford Foundation Trust (BFT), saw businesses, emergency services and individuals of all faiths and backgrounds come together.

It was all in a bid to raise cash for vital causes who have been in high demand during the covid-19 pandemic.

Shadim Hussain, a board member at BFT, welcomed participants into his home via video call as participants broke their fast virtually from all corners of the district.

Mr Hussain said: “Fasting Friday provided a wonderful way to end Ramadan and bring together all the different businesses, voluntary organisations, people of faith and those of no faith under one united cause.

“We all came together to fast in solidarity on the set campaign date of 22nd May and collectively showed our support to small causes in Bradford.”

Among those taking part was West Yorkshire Police’s inspector for Bradford East John Toothill, Bishop Toby Howarth and Manoj Joshi, a district governor for Rotary International in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and proud member of Bradford’s Gujarati Hindu Brahmins community.

Fasting is a ritual seen across many religions with Mr Joshi reflecting: "Fasting is a common link with all faiths and as a Hindu I'm delighted to fast with friends of all faiths to raise funds for Bradford's 10 local charities."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Sue Crowe, manager of Bradford Talking Media, took part in a social media video for Fasting Friday when her neighbours recognised who she was.

The Mahmood family, who are Muslims, live three doors away from her and brought her a delicious homemade Iftaar meal.

Sue was brought to tears when she told other participants about their act of kindness.

Sue said: “I could not believe how overcome I became that they brought food for me despite them having their own family to look into.

"I was asked by Shadim Hussain to participate in Fasting Friday and I was delighted to join.

“What I loved about it was that it was completely cross sector with people of all walks of life being able to get involved."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Inspector Toothill was taking part in Fasting Friday as an act of solidarity with his Muslim colleagues.

He said: “I got support with the Fasting Friday campaign as I do like my food and drink and there were five of us taking part in the fast. Three of my colleagues were not able to make the whole day and bailed on me but me and one my other sergeants made it through the whole day. It was great to speak to my Muslim colleagues who were fasting and get the appreciation of what they experience during fasting.”

The city-wide fast-a-thon has raised funds for The Faith Centre; Bradford Baby Bank; Bradford Talking Media; Neesie; The Good Shepard Centre; Save the Mothers Trust; Bradford City of Sanctuary; Biasan; The KML Project and Green Crescent Aid UK.

You can still donate by visiting the LaunchGood page, 'Bradford Top 10 Vital Causes' here.

Bradford businesses raised a collective total of more than £4,500 by sponsoring the event. This included: Cupcake Cravings, Little Hearts Nursery, Sekhon Group Companies, Rotary International, Platinum Partnership, Blackstone Accountancy, Secure Risk Insurance Brokers; Sak Solicitors; Bio Med Care Services; Square Apple, Raising Explorers, Kanapeena Supermarket and Zenith Care.