The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO), a coalition of 17 mosques and Islamic organisation in the London Borough of Redbridge, have gifted 80 prayer mats and a number of Quran cubes for staff and patients at Sunflowers Court in Goodmayes Hospital.
This year, Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, has coincided with the coronavirus pandemic. In line with social distancing measures and in order to prevent the spread of the virus, staff and patients will be using individual prayer mats.
Sam Illaiee, Head of Childrens services in Waltham Forest, from NELFT – the NHS Trust which runs Goodmayes Hospital – said: “We’re very grateful to FORMO for its generous donation.
“It’s great that our local community has thought about our most vulnerable people at a time where prayer and reflection are most paramount.”
The chair of FORMO, Bashir Patel, said they have been supporting local vulnerable people during the pandemic but also assisting hospitals inside and outside of the borough by delivering food.
He said: “We found out about the need for prayer mats at NELFT and within hours one individual had funded the 80 mats that have now been provided.”
The prayer mats were delivered by FORMO chair Bashir Patel and the Leader of Redbridge London Borough Council, Jas Athwal, along with volunteers.
Mr Athwal said: “The key thing to acknowledge is the impact that COVID-19 has had on our community, especially the BME community. Redbridge Council has been doing a lot to help during this time and ensuring that we support each other.”
Paul McNamara, Spiritual Care Lead for NELFT said: “We are very grateful to FORMO for their support with resources assisting our staff and service users during both this holy season of Ramadan and the wider pandemic situation.
“It's heart-warming to experience this great sense of concern, reaching out and support within our community.”
The first set of 40 prayer mats, which were delivered over the weekend, were shared among patients in the inpatient unit at Sunflowers Court and the remaining mats will be distributed among staff and patients.
The NELFT Equality and Diversity team and NELFT chaplaincy service will continue to work collaboratively with FORMO.