A KEIGHLEY mosque is doing its bit to help older and vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

Members of Keighley Jamia Masjid, in Lawkholme, are delivering freshly-cooked Ramadan platters to residents in the district.

The mosque leaders joined with representatives of Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities for the initiative.

They have signed-up to VIP, run by the Strengthening Faith Institutions in partnership with Age UK Bradford District, to help those requiring support during the pandemic.

Assistance ranges from wellbeing support and friendly phone conversations to picking-up shopping and prescriptions, plus providing food.

By working across communities, the venture also aims to improve relations between different faiths and cultures.

Ali Akbar Chishti, a trustee of Keighley Jamia Masjid, said: “Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims fast from the break of dawn to sunset, in order to learn discipline, generosity and empathy for the many people in the world who go hungry.

“It is a special time of the year for Muslims all across the world. It is during this month that Muslims not only abstain from food and drink, but also learn the importance of charity through fasting.

“This programme is a perfect way to exemplify the ideals of the month of Ramadan by sharing our experience with someone from another faith, particularly during the current pandemic lockdown.”

Javed Bashir, founder of VIP, said the scheme was hugely valuable in opening-up channels of communication.

He added: “Not only do these acts make us compassionate human beings but they also open-up lines of communication, appreciation and understanding between our different cultures and faiths – something so important in this day and age.

“We encourage individuals, families, mosques and community centres to take this opportunity to reach out to their neighbours to join them for an iftar meal and learn more about each other’s faiths.”

Mark Rounding, chief executive of Age UK Bradford District, said the project would enable the charity’s work to reach even more elderly people and he welcomed the mosque’s involvement. He added: “We are delighted that Keighley Jamia Masjid is part of this initiative, working with communities across Bradford and Keighley to meet the challenges we are all facing in these unprecedented times.”