And one Peterborough organisation Let’s Make a Difference is celebrating a nomination to turn them on, for their efforts during the pandemic
Two friends - Sister Nadia, a teacher by profession and Huma Shirazi, a beautician - initiated the 'Let's Make a Difference' campaign in April, just after the first lockdown was started, and have seen an army of women, all from different cultures and backgrounds, joining them to help cook and provide food.
For the past few months, Let's Make a Difference has been working with local food banks, the Peterborough City Council coronavirus hub and community charities.
They have supported and worked with Compas charity to support Eastern European residents of the city and Garden House to help the homeless. The group of around 25 women have worked to cook and also provide essential groceries to individuals and families struggling to cope due to the pandemic.
Since launching in April, the team has provided over 10K meals to people in the city.
Huma and Nadia are ‘incredibly proud’ of the efforts and their journey so far and hope to ‘continue the efforts.’
Talking about the nomination, Huma and Nadia said: “We still can’t believe it. Even being nominated and acknowledged for our hard work means a lot to us. It’s a team effort of all the women supporting each other at Let’s Make a Difference. We have helped such different kinds of people, elderly, struggling families, victims of abuse and just people in need.
“Sometimes it broke our hearts to see the conditions people are going through. Some people have actually have saved people’s lives - When you hear things like that, we feel truly blessed.
“It’s heart-warming to see the support we have been receiving.
“Our organisation is a women-only team. We knew each other. We were friends. But all the other women in the group are knew to each other. It really is women empowerment. We are women from diverse backgrounds, different professions, different faiths, multi-ages. They came together with a common goal- to help people in need. To cook and feed people.
“As it grew, we learnt so much about each other. And we have no formal funding from anywhere. People we know, our supporters have been helping us in our mission and we are so grateful to them.
“Going forward, pandemic or no pandemic, we would like to continue this group and our efforts. We both work full time so it’s going to be tricky but we are determined to find a way. We haven't been able to say no to an offer of help in the last few months and want to build on that and continue helping people in need.”
The group is one of six people who have been nominated to be a special guest at the Council's light switch on this year.
All the nominees have also been asked to take part in a virtual pre-recorded light switch –on countdown that will be played during the virtual event on December 2.