As we approach the end of Ramadhan, Carers Leeds and Touchstone would like to share some information on what it means to observe Ramadhan and how it may affect the daily lives of carers and others.
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar.  For 30 days Muslims spend the daylight hours in a complete fast (19 hours this year).  Muslims abstain from all food and drink. Ramadhan is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention to Allah (God) and practice self-discipline and sacrifice.
Fasting during the month is considered one of the 5 Pillars of Islam – five activities that shape a Muslim’s life:

  • Shahada (professing one’s faith)
  • Salat (Prayer 5 times a day)
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
  • Zakat (Charity)
  • Fasting (Abstain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset)

The physical and spiritual effects of the fast are felt by Muslims as a reminder of those who suffer throughout the year – those who are poor and homeless – who cannot meet their basic need. It reminds Muslims not to be wasteful and to feel empathy for those who face hunger on a daily basis.  Muslims feel gratitude for the bounties of Allah: clean water, sufficient healthy food, comfort of a home, health of our family members.
Carers Leeds is working in Partnership with Touchstone to support carers from Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Leeds.
For carers the physical demands of balancing work, school or looking after someone while fasting all day, can take its toll it is important carers look after their health and well-being during fasting it is most likely the person they are looking after may be exempt due to medical reasons you may wish to speak with your GP or a health professional.
We offer emotional support in a culturally sensitive way.  We have carer support workers who speak Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali.  We can offer you information and advice in order to access Welfare Benefits (such as Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments); a break/respite from caring; holidays; carers assessments and social activities/wellbeing and carer training.
Touchstone BME Carers Service hold a monthly carers group for all BME carers 3rd Thursday  of the month between 11am and 1pm at Touchstone Support Centre, 53-55 Harehills Avenue, Leeds, LS8 4EX. Contact Shuria or Eulalee (Touchstone) on 0113 219 2727 or Zaira (Carers Leeds) on 0113 3804303.