Charity ‘Secret Santa’ raised an impressive £1,301.70 to help fund presents for disadvantaged Muslim children this Eid.
On the hottest day of the year so far, hundreds attended the fun day event with around 30 stalls inside.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue attended, but were diverted temporarily to put out a grass fire, which served to make their day even hotter. Fire-fighters were keen to display their “Jaws of life” equipment, to let the children use the fire hoses, squirting water high into the air and they even got chance to climb into the fire engine itself.
Also joining in the fun where two Shetland ponies, named “Tonic” and “Bullyboy.”
Phil Boulding, founder of Secret Santa said, “Having the support of our amazing fire brigade and foals and horses pony sanctuary to allow our local children to have a fantastic day of fun and laughter and all for a great cause was just superb! It was a real family event with my daughter Claire and Granddaughter Starr both playing the role of OLAF – the room lit up when he emerged.
“Many Muslim ladies helped join Secret Santa at Christmas sorting and packing presents into our Santa Sacks and quite a few Muslim businesses donated to our cause and given the slur that Blackburn is a divided community. We at Secret Santa wanted to show to the world that actually we are not.
“And so in partnership with One Voice Blackburn, we created our “Secret Sheikh” project essentially to return the favour and continue enhancing and reinforcing our single Blackburn Community where both Christmas and Eid can be celebrated with equal levels of enjoyment and joy.”
Amina Imam Satia who helped lead on the organising of the event said, “It was a real privilege and really heart warming to see so many people willing to support our Secret Sheikh event and of course seeing all of the children with huge smiles on their faces, some with face painted tigers etc was just brilliant. It really felt like we smashed it!”
Anyone wishing to help the “Secret Sheikh” project by donating so that they can buy presents for delivery to Muslim Children this Eid can contact Phil Boulding on 07866 566166.