18th June – 18th July is Ramadan in the Muslim faith.

Ramadan is a sacred time for all Muslims to clear their sins and is also a sense of detox. Followers of Islam fast from sun up until sun down throughout this sacred month.

Forever Manchester funds and supports a variety of projects, and last summer we funded a street festival that brought the community together in this Holy month.

The group hosting the street festival were Freehold Neighbourhood Group in Rochdale.

The main purpose of the group is to serve the local multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual community with help, using external agencies such as council departments, police and local community centres to serve the needs of the residents of the neighbourhood area.

They organise an annual street festival where all residents of the area take part, see each other and have a chat; sharing stories, enjoying the festival atmosphere and taking part in organised activities.

The group involves the wider community through publicity, word of mouth, networking of residents, using posters, leaflets and door-to-door methods in the Rochdale area.

The event caters for all ages, abilities, all races and sexes, all disabilities and religious backgrounds. It envelops a real community cohesion of the residents of Rochdale, and in particular the Freehold residents who come to enjoy and take part in the festive activities. All participants enjoy themselves and take part in the ‘big family’ event, it is regarded by many as a ‘big family’ – a family having a good time together.

The wider community of Rochdale treat it as their event to enjoy the activities, to enjoy the music, games, food stalls, samba drums, circus, fun fair rides, carnival queen and magician. All of these elements interact with each other and the observers to make it a great success where everyone enjoys the day.

Last year’s festival was extra special as they celebrated the end of the Holy month of Ramadan and Eid. Because the majority of the residents of the Freehold area are religious they thoroughly enjoyed the celebration, as one big family.

One resident, who helps to put on the festival said: “I like to get involved with the Freehold Festival because I like to help out in the community. I enjoy getting together with the local community on a day where everyone enjoys themselves, ideal for the whole family, when the entire community comes together as one. It gives me a buzz when I see smiling faces on the day of the event, and get satisfaction knowing that I have somehow contributed in bring that smile and glow on people’s faces, it just fantastic.”

Another attendee said: “The 40th Festival Mela was brilliant. I really enjoyed myself, the food , the rides and the entertainment was all good and amazing. I had a really good time, speaking to friends, and local community visitors. The weather was okay, but no one can control the weather other than that everything was good and enjoyable.”

Forever Manchester would like to wish all supporters practising the Holy month of fasting a wonderful Ramadan Mubarak

If you’d like to help us to help more local people bringing their communities together like Freehold Neighbourhood Group DONATE TODAY to make a difference in your area.