Ramadan sees 'overwhelming' attendance at community Iftar hosted by Pompey in the Community

A CHARITY at Fratton Park football stadium has hosted a huge community feast to mark the holy month of Ramadan, with refugees and homeless people across the city enjoying a free dinner.

Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 3:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2022, 9:40 am

It comes as Muslims across the city take part in a month of fasting during daylight hours.

Pompey in the Community, a community support charity operating from the Portsmouth club’s grounds, hosted a community iftar – a meal that breaks the fast after sunset – with more than 300 residents attending yesterday evening.

Mahbub Choudhury, a co-ordinator from the community support group The Habiganj Zila Association, said the event marked a ‘fantastic’ return to form after years of pandemic disruption.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Guests breaking their fast at the Pompey in the Community centre. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The community organiser said: ‘We haven’t done anything for a few years because of Covid. It’s good to get the community together again.

‘It was a great event. We had an overwhelming number of people.

‘We had expected a maximum of 250 people but realistically expected about 200.’

Despite catering for a larger number than planned, the group had enough left-overs to donate food to the Portsmouth Jami Mosque and Islamic Centre in Bradford Road, which supports refugees and homeless people throughout Ramadan.

Community Iftar at Portsmouth Football Club, Fratton Portsmouth on Tuesday 5th April 2022 Picture: Habibur Rahman

Read More

Read More
Warning that Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth faces a 'serious' situation ...

More than 30 refugees and homeless people attended the iftar event last night, as well as residents from outside the Muslim community.

Pompey in the Community prides itself on ‘being there for everybody’, CEO Clare Martin said.

She added: ‘Anything we can do to welcome a local community group into Fratton Park is fantastic.’

A doctor from a nearby surgery also attended the event to encourage vaccine and booster jab uptake, as many members of the community remain ‘wary’ of Covid-19 now that restrictions have lifted.

Mahbub said: ‘A lot of people are still very wary about going out. We got mixed messages from people regarding attendance, so we didn’t know what the turn out was going to be like.’

Last month, Portsmouth was placed as the highest Covid-19 re-infection location in the county and 42nd worst out of 358 places across the UK.

Ramadan is set to end on Sunday, May 1.