• Tuesday, April 16, 2024


William and Kate visit Muslim centre, commend ‘amazing’ community fundraising efforts

The community raised £30,000 for families left homeless after the February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales (2nd L) and Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales (2nd R) speak to members of the community as they visit the Hayes Muslim Centre, in Hayes, Greater London, March 9, 2023 to thank those involved in the aid effort and fundraising to help communities affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. (AFP)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited a Muslim community centre on Thursday (09) to thank the “amazing” volunteers involved in aid and fundraising for survivors of the February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Prince William and Kate, who wore an Alexander McQueen black pleated dress and a black and white headscarf, met members of the Hayes Muslim Centre in West London and heard harrowing stories from aid workers who recently returned from the disaster zone.

The community raised £30,000 for families left homeless after the earthquakes, and according to the lead fundraiser Zia Rehman, they broke their own 30-year fundraising record.

He said, “Within two hours we were able to raise £18,000.”

He added, “Normally it is anything between £10,000 and £12,000. But this time the community came forward amazingly. Altogether we have raised £30,000 for Turkey and Syria.”

Impressed by their efforts, Prince William jokingly expressed interest in recruiting the volunteers himself, saying to Rehman, “It is amazing. About £100 million has been raised in the first two weeks.”

William further asked, “When you do this community fundraising, what are you saying to the community? A lot of people have got relatives in some of these areas?”

In response to the Prince’s question, Rehman explained that their community is diverse and that their fundraising efforts are not limited to Muslims. He stated, “When we have a cause, the community comes forward regardless of their religion.”

It is a testament to the strength of the community when people come together and support each other, the Princess remarked.

During their visit to the community centre, the couple also had a light-hearted moment when they participated in making origami cranes with two schoolgirls who had raised funds for the appeal.

Dila Haya, 14, and Lina Alkutubi, 15, created 700 cranes, which are a symbol of hope, as part of a £10,000 fundraising effort by Waldegrave School in Twickenham.

During the activity, the royals were guided by the schoolgirls as they folded the paper birds.

Dila told the Prince and Princess, “It is really important to fold cranes together, because it means that the more people fold one crane together the more power they have.”

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