Preston staff join colleagues in fasting for Ramadan to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice
Colleagues at an innovative Preston firm pushed themselves to the limit to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice, as they collectively fasted for a full day during Ramadan.
Staff and contractors across IN4.0 Group joined forces to refrain from eating and drinking in a show of solidarity for workmates who were observing Ramadan, and to support the charity which cared for the wife of one of their directors.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, an industry training and digital transformation services provider which has offices at the University of Central Lancashire, and the Home of Skills and Technology (HOST) in MediaCityUK, Manchester, said: “As a Muslim, Ramadan is a very special time for me, which embodies charity and kindness. As an organisation we make a commitment to supporting charitable causes throughout the year, so it was fantastic that our team was able to experience Ramadan and give such great support to a brilliant charity at the same time.”
Executive Assistant Laura Cleverley and Social Media Manager Matt Cuerden came up with the idea and led the initiative.
Laura said: “Some of the team were discussing various ways to fundraise whilst still under COVID-19 restrictions and with many people working at home. They agreed that doing a fasting challenge was a perfect fit; part of the spirit of Ramadan is to focus on something besides our own lives and put our problems into perspective.
“It was a company-wide effort and we’re incredibly proud of how eager everyone was to get involved. We woke up, ate and hydrated before 3:30am – with a mixed success for the team getting back to sleep afterwards! – and then were not allowed to consume anything until we broke fast together after sunset.
“Before we fasted, we briefed everybody about the challenges ahead and we distributed a flyer with information and guidance to help mentally prepare people for the fast, so that everyone was aware of what to expect on the day.
“Most of the team found aspects of it difficult; for most it wasn’t the hunger but the lack of energy or dehydration that hit them the hardest. However difficult it was though, the team felt a sense of personal and collective achievement when we enjoyed a drink of water and a bite to eat together at end of the day through a video call, and everybody kept in high spirits throughout the day.
“The experience really brought the team together, not just as a bonding exercise as we fundraised, but it gave people a greater understanding of the different cultures that not only make up IN4.0 Group but surround us in our communities, which was another reason we chose to fast for Ramadan. We place a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion at IN4.0 and part of that is actively learning and where possible, experiencing other cultures.”
Matt added: “IN4.0 Group also operates HOST which offers specialist support, affordable workspace, training and social spaces for people and businesses to start up, scale up and connect. We’re all about helping people to better themselves and strive for improvement, so the fundraising feat matched this ethos too.
“HOST’s Director of Immersive Technology, Simon Benson, recently experienced the wonderful care of St Catherine’s when his wife Debbie spent her final days in the hospice. We thought raising money for the charity would be a special way to honour Debbie’s memory and show support for Simon.”
Emily Bate, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “It really is inspiring to hear what IN4.0 Group’s staff have endured to show support for one another and our charity. We were really humbled to hear their innovative idea to fast during the pandemic when many means of fundraising can’t take place, because they wanted to learn more about Ramadan at the same time as supporting a local charity.
“They have donated a fantastic £1,060 which will make a real difference to local people accessing the hospice’s specialist palliative and end-of-life care. Our mission is to help people experience quality of life to the end of life, by helping them to achieve what is important to them in the time that they have. IN4.0 Group’s ethos to respect everyone in the community and embrace diversity really complements this approach, and we hope we can work with them more in the future.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the fast, and to those who donated – we simply wouldn’t be here without the amazing support of our communities and individuals coming up with lots of create ways to raise much-needed funds for our important work.”
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