British Muslim Youth visit elderly patients with 350 gifts for Christmas
LONDON, UK – When I think about the respected elderly, the following quote from our holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) comes to my mind,
“He isn’t of us who isn’t kind to our youngsters, and shows no respect to our elders”.
This is a powerful message which, if applied helps us in taking steps towards creating harmonious society.
Respect for elders can be expressed in many different forms. This could include attentively listening to their advice, being kind and polite, ignoring their harshness, cherishing their presence and attending to their physical and spiritual needs.
Loneliness can be a real problem, in particular if you are sick and in hospital. On Christmas morning, myself and more than twenty other volunteers including staff at Northwick Park and Moorfields Eye Hospital volunteered to visit fifteen wards including the Care of the Elderly wards at Northwick Park Hospital. Having worked in hospitals for seven years, I have seen how lonely Christmas can be for patients who are too frail to go home or have nobody to visit them. Loneliness can really affect them at this time of year especially being in hospital, which is traditionally spent with family and loved ones. Being inspired by a similar event at Mile End Hospital encouraged us to organise this event at our own local hospital.
More than £700 was raised in donations, allowing us to deliver 350 gifts to patients across the hospital. We also added to the cheer by distributing chocolates and biscuits for staff and patients.
The day was a huge success in bringing happiness to staff, patients and their relatives. Veronica, carer of one of the patients expressed her gratitude and said,
“It makes a huge difference for patients to see someone cares”.
Volunteers covered the wards for two hours and their efforts felt rewarded when one of the patient’s exclaimed,
“do you know how long it’s been since I last saw Santa!”
Elderly patients in hospitals are in great need of love and companionship and can be neglected especially during Christmas period. Following this year’s success, the team of volunteers look forward to visiting the respected elderly every Christmas, not just at Northwick Park Hospital but other local hospitals too.
We sometimes feel the need to travel far to reach out to those in need. However it’s important to remember we have people at our own door steps in desperate need of love and attention. Let’s make it our new year’s resolution to help those less fortunate than us in our local communities. It could be doing the shopping for our elderly neighbour, visiting the sick in our local hospital or acting as a translator for a new migrant. Whatever small yet significant step needed to bring us closer to building a loving community.