Muslim volunteers help give Richmond a clean and tidy start to 2019

While many revellers slept off a hangover, members of a Muslim youth organisation woke up at the crack of dawn on New Year’s Day to clean up the streets of Richmond Green and the Riverside.

More than 60 young people were up early yesterday (January 1) to pick up rubbish left behind in in Richmond, following the New Year’s Eve revelry.

The youth group, called the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, has almost 9,000 members across the UK and focuses on helping young Muslims serve their community.

The event was part of a national campaign, with similar clean ups across 50 locations in the UK on New Year’s Day. In Richmond, volunteers were provided bags and equipment by the Council to help with the clean-up.

Members across the country met at their local mosque and headed out to their high street to pick up litter after a special prayer.

“Our members have enjoyed living in Surrey for decades and so any opportunity to help our local Community is a much-welcomed one,” said Ahsan, a youth leader at Surrey AMYA.

He added: “Cleaning our streets also presents us with an opportunity to become better Muslims as cleanliness is an integral part of our faith. We are a peace-loving and well-organised association which will continue to help make this great part of England an even better place to live in.”

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“Whilst many of us were having a rest on New Year’s Day these community minded young people were out ensuring Richmond Green and the Riverside started the year in immaculate condition. Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their morning to help with the clean-up.”

In the past, AMYA organised blood donation sessions, fundraised for the British Red Cross, ran poppy stands, brought chocolates to nursing homes and children’s hospitals and helped feed the homeless.

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