TEENAGERS and staff at Blackburn Youth Zone have joined in with the Islamic fast of Ramadan in a ‘spirit of friendship’ to their Muslim colleagues.

Fifty junior and senior members abstained from food on Thursday to learn more about the Muslim faith and culture, and support those fasting as part of their religious observance.

The group broke their fast together at 9.30pm, with everyone bringing in a home-cooked dish to share.

Ishmail Issat, sports coordinator, who led the group in prayer before the iftaari, the breaking of the fast, said: “The idea for our youth club members and staff to join in fasting to support those observing the Islamic month of Ramadan came from some of the youth zone’s members who wanted to learn more about why some of their friends were refraining from food.

“Our members are leading the way as role models for community cohesion and are showing the power of learning and what can be achieved by working together to bring down barriers.”

Peter Little, the zone’s chief executive, who also joined in the fast, said: “Blackburn Youth Zone is all about bringing the town together to support young people.

“It was great to see young people coming up with the idea of sharing the experience of observing a fast. This a fantastic example of how young people are at the heart of bringing our community together.”

The youth zone is also recreating its own version of Channel 4’s Ramadan Diaries with a special young person’s view of Ramadan. These films, captured by Young Leader Aeman Ali Afzal, will be featured on its website at the end of the festival.