THE Rochdale Care Organisation, which runs Rochdale Infirmary and community services, held a small Eid celebration on Friday to mark Eid ul-Fitr which is a celebration that takes place at the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.
Many staff were on annual leave then, so Rochdale Care Org decided to wait until colleagues were back in work to celebrate.
The event was attended by Imam Abdul Hakim from UKIM and Madina Masjid in Rochdale, who was welcomed by Northern Care Alliance NHS Group Chairman, Prof Michael Luger, and Rochdale Care Organisation Medical Director, Dr Shona McCallum.
Eid comes after Ramadan, and is a very important date for Islam and a time when Muslims fast for a month, share gifts, donate to charity and pray.
UK lockdown made Eid celebrations very difficult last year and this year people had smaller celebrations because of COVID-19 restrictions.
At Rochdale Infirmary staff and guests gathered to hear welcome speeches by Prof Luger and Dr McCallum followed by prayers led by Imam Abdul Hakim.
Afterwards there was a small buffet of traditional food including fresh curries, kebabs, naan and rice, as well as soft drinks and boxes of chocolates to share.
The Eid celebration was originally planned as an outdoor event, but true to form the great British weather resulted in heavy rain and led to a last minute decision to move the event inside for a socially distanced celebration.
Staff chatted over lunch, admiring the decorations and wishing each other a happy Eid before heading back to work.
A larger celebration is planned for a future date when hopefully COVID-19 restrictions will be less rigorous and more staff will be able to attend, including those from the Rochdale Care Org community teams.
Opening the event, Prof Michael Luger said:
“I have heard such wonderful things about this community, how supportive you are, how committed you are to place based care, so thank you all for everything you do. But this isn’t a time for that kind of speech, we are here for Eid Mubarak, we’re here to pray, to celebrate, and I am very pleased that Imam Abdul Hakim is here to lead us in prayer.”
Following prayers, Imam Abdul Hakim said:
“We are very pleased to attend the event. We have been working closely with the hospital on a few projects recently and we appreciate all the hard work of the staff. We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone.”
Dr Shona McCallum said:
“Thank you everyone for coming and helping us to celebrate Eid at Rochdale Care Organisation, it is great to see staff and community coming together to pray, to eat and celebrate, and we hope to host a larger scale event in July, weather permitting, and invite more people including those who are working so hard in our community teams.”
Tariq Mohammed, Rochdale Care Organisation BAME Staff Network Chair, said:
“It was lovely to see our staff come to the event to celebrate Eid and we look forward to doing more events like these in the future, welcoming people in the community who have done so much to support us during the pandemic.”
Dobir Miah from Rochdale Council of Mosques said:
“On behalf of Rochdale Council of Mosques I would like to thank all the staff and management at Rochdale Care Organisation for their support and for inviting us today. It is really good to see partnership developing and long may it continue.”