MEMBERS and organisations in the Asian community are being recognised for their positive work during the pandemic.

While concerns have been raised in East Lancashire over fears of a local lockdown due to the high Asian population, many have come forward to recognise the hard-work to help the community during the pandemic.

Shakeel Choudhry from Blackburn has been running live Facebook vlogs along with his friend Ayaz Hussain.

Mr Choudhry works at a bank and used his financial knowledge to inform people in Blackburn on how to get help if they were struggling with money.

In the vlogs, they discuss what loans may be available as well as discussing how to safely navigate through the lockdown with the help of other services such as food banks.

Mr Choudhry said: “We talk about how we can support each other and how to help people with their finances.

“A lot of people have also had their mental health worries and we have discussed this and how to stay positive.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic places of worship have remained closed for prayer in congregation, with restrictions now easing Raza Jamia Masjid, Accrington, has been identified nationally for their proactive response.

Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Council praised the efforts of the Mosque community throughout the pandemic and is encouraging other places of worship to follow their lead:

He said: “I would like to congratulate the Raza Jamia Masjid community, not only for their quick action at the start of this pandemic, by being one of the first places to close to gatherings, but for their ongoing response throughout.

“They have adapted, served the community and are now leading the way on the road to recovery by setting an excellent example on being covid-secure.

Jawid Hussain, founder and patron of Raza Jamia Masjid, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to close for worship, gatherings and social activities however we have remained open 24 hours a day for emergencies, for those who need food, medicine or urgent support.

“We have offered online services, remained active on social media and in some cases had upwards of 5,000 people attending programmes ‘virtually’.”

Gatherings of more than 30 people are now allowed for acts of communal worship, but social distancing measures must be followed.

The government has also announced it will give powers to local councils to shut down events in which they believe is a risk and breaches health and safety.