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Southwark mum who visits Tesco at 6am to help others has 22 other volunteer roles and a job

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As the pandemic hit final 12 months, many individuals rushed to the supermarkets to ‘panic purchase’ hand sanitiser, rest room roll and even bread combine.

But for one Southwark resident, Haija Saidat Oketunde was left “horrified” by the quantity of empty grocery store cabinets she noticed on her tv.

Haija says: “My thoughts went straight to susceptible individuals, these who are aged or residing alone.

“I picked up my cellphone and rang Southwark Council immediately and stated one thing has to be performed.”

Haija gathered her closest relations and the younger individuals she knew to type an emergency volunteering group.

With the help of shut associates from her neighborhood, Southwark council and leaders from the Old Kent Road Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, Haija was ready to gather important gadgets and ship them to susceptible and aged residents.

Every Thursday at 6am, Haija will be discovered at the Tesco Superstore on Old Kent Road, purchasing for these who want help.

Haija visits Tesco’s each Thursday at 6am

Haija explains by the generosity of the shop and its supervisor, she will store for gadgets rapidly and with none problem.

She provides: “Since the pandemic, I’ve helped most likely a whole bunch, if not 1000’s of individuals.

“Myself and the group get a actual buzz from serving to other individuals locally and placing a smile on their faces.”

Haija delivering parcels containing food and household items

Haija delivering parcels containing meals and home goods

To adjust to social distancing, Haija and her group go away meals parcels out on individuals’s doorsteps.

She says she appears ahead to seeing a smile on individuals’s faces as soon as they obtain their parcels.

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As nicely as her sturdy neighborhood work ethic, Haija has roles in 22 varied organisations and charities.

Among the roles contains Haija’s personal charity, Faith Women’s Community UK, which was launched in 2018.

Haija describes Faith Women’s Community UK as a community that brings ladies throughout all faiths collectively.

“Numerous ladies don’t have that community to work collectively,” she provides.

Haija is part of an impressive 22 organisations and charities

Haija is a part of a powerful 22 organisations and charities

Get Fit Feel Fit, which inspires ladies’s participation in sports activities is one other programme Haija is concerned with.

The sports activities programme is on maintain for now, however Haija is trying ahead to operating it once more quickly.

Haija has been a member of the Old Kent Road Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre for 21 years, the place she additionally works as an schooling officer.

She says her foremost initiative is to encourage peace and concord in society and hopes the spiritual pageant, Ramadan may also mirror this.

Haija has additionally used her place as an influential neighborhood determine to encourage vaccine consumption amongst Black, Asian and ethnic minority teams in Southwark.

Her message was recorded for the NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group with the help of her household.

She provides: “My husband and kids have been very supportive of my work.”

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Haija says one among her largest inspirations has been her late mom, who’s ardour of supporting individuals inspired her to do the identical.

Reflecting on her step up in neighborhood work, Haija says she needs to proceed working intently with Southwark Council on future initiatives.

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Haija says: “After all, I by no means know when it will likely be my flip to obtain help from volunteers like me.

“That’s why we should all unite and pull collectively.”