A UK-based Muslim charity which provides a free and confidential emotional support service to young Muslims is establishing volunteer teams nationally for the first time in its 10-year history.
The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) has held open days in the towns and cities of Luton, Bradford, Birmingham and Leicester, and will be holding a Volunteer Training Day in Manchester this week.
Although all helpline enquiries will still be taken in London, the establishment of volunteer teams in different cities means that for the first time in its history MYH will have a ground presence in local communities around the country.
Marketing Manager Nasir Sayed said: "Our volunteers will raise awareness of our helpline – so young Muslims know they are never alone, they will raise awareness of the issues they face – to encourage the local community to tackle these head on and finally they will hold fund-raising events to ensure that Muslim Youth Helpline can continue to support those in need."
Greater Manchester has one of the highest Muslim populations in the UK. Mr Sayed said that after London and the West Midlands, their third highest region for calls to the helpline comes from the North West.
He added: "This indicates that there are young Muslims in this area who need our support and we hope to do more to ensure that young Muslims in the North West never have to feel like they are alone."
Muslim Youth Helpline was set up in 2011 by founder, and then university student, Mohammed Sadiq Mamdani, from his bedroom at home, where he then began helping his peers.
Soon after news of the service spread and MYH were training volunteers in active listening skills to help young Muslims in distress.
Mr Sayed said: "We’re so excited to be coming up to Manchester to set up our first ever volunteer team in the area on Sunday. It’s amazing to see people come forward and give up their own time to help others in need and the benefit this will have for the local community will be immense."
For those in Manchester who are interested in volunteering, the Volunteer Training Day will be at The Muslim Youth Foundation on Turner Street, opposite Piccadilly Gardens, on Sunday 25th March at 12pm.