When Samina Iqbal saw the many people struggling due to the impact of the pandemic, she knew she had to take action.
Not content with finding one way to help, the tutor and co-founder of Feed The Homeless set out on a mission to make a difference to as many lives as possible.
On behalf of Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, she managed to secure a £10,000 grant from Martin Lewis Coronavirus Fund to fund her work to help alleviate the poverty and difficulties caused by Covid-19 and the lockdown measures.
From cooking roasts for elderly residents to cream teas for low-income families and crafts for children, Samina says the last few weeks have been incredibly humbling and she intends to keep up the work to support as many people as she can.
“I saw that families, especially those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, were struggling and I wanted to help through providing support,” Samina tells Bristol24/7.
“I had already supported a few organisations that were established with Quartet Community Foundation funding before we got this funding. So, I chose to donate as well as cook myself.
“It was very humbling being able to help many families. I have had tears in my eyes when I’ve helped deliver food supplies, and the charities that helped me deliver cream teas have been so appreciative.”
Samina, who lives in Bedminster, has had help from a few volunteers to deliver support packages but has done much of the work herself.
The grant has gone towards providing food packs via Hannah More Primary School for some 160 families struggling due to make ends meet. It has also funded sleeping bags for people experiencing homelessness, vital supplies for refugees and asylum seekers through Aid Box Community and supporting Ambition Lawrence Weston in providing breakfast packs for those families struggling during the summer holidays.
She has helped Blonde Angel Street Team volunteers cook almost 100 meals for residents in a homeless shelter, as well as meals for families supported by Mamas Bristol CIC, and supported Knowle West Alliance, with funds to cook in the school holidays. Samina has also provided cream teas for people supported by Fun4Families and Incredible Kids.
Speaking about the ongoing work, Samina adds: “I have been able to connect with some great charities doing amazing work in Bristol and hope to continue supporting where we can.”
Main photo courtesy of Samina Iqbal