The Muslim community in Newcastle has received huge praise for forming teams of volunteers to clean up streets in the city during Ramadan, Chronicle Live reported Wednesday.
“Your work is amazing and has made me smile,” wrote one local on Facebook, as others asked for the crew to visit their streets.
Another added: “If everyone helped in their own little part of the city we could all have a much cleaner environment to live in.”
Dubbed “takeaway town”, Newcastle’s West Road has huge amounts of rubbish from junk food on the street.
During past Ramadan, Muslims collected 40 bags of rubbish from this single road. Around a dozen people helped with the clean-ups, held over various weekends during Ramadan.
“Broken beer bottles were the worst to clean as they are dangerous,” said Kamran Chohdry, who helped spearhead the street clean along with Jawwad Baig.
“We even found a full cup of coffee, from Costa, which hadn’t been touched – someone just left it at the side of the road.
“There was a lot of food from takeaways. On one side we found lots of Greggs wrappers and on the other, it was Dixy Chicken, but to be fair both shops have bins outside.”
Inspired by the Muslim volunteers’ work, a local barber asked for them not clean outside his shop – so he could do it himself.
“The decision to do this was made between my friends when we said that during Ramadan it would be good to get out and start contributing,” said 40-year-old Kamran, who lives a “stone’s throw” away from the West Road.
“We had seen the state of it, and it had been getting worse by worse, day by day.”
He admitted it had been “disheartening” to have since seen some rubbish starting to pile back up, but added: “You just have to keep your head positive.”
As part of this year’s Visit My Mosque Day, under the auspices of Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), volunteers from over 250 mosques in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland participated in street clean-up initiatives on February 24.