The founder of a youth and community organisation who had to cancel his Eid celebrations due to recent government announcements has used his festival good deeds to try and make the people of his town happy.

Sam Ali, founder and CEO of SWITCH, a youth and community organisation in Blackburn who work with young people aged 8-21, spent his weekend delivering cupcakes to residents across the town.

Mr Ali said: "After Thursday's shocking announcement two hours before midnight, I thought I would bring the whole town together once again with something as little as a cupcake, the cupcake is a gift to put smiles on people's faces - no matter what religion or colour you are, a celebration is a celebration.

"I delivered to half of Blackburn on Friday and did the other half on Saturday.

"My mother always taught me to have good morals and values, as well as good intentions.

"So Friday's intention came from my grandmother who passed away in December - she told me Eid is not just about family, prayer and eating it's also about doing good deeds and making people happy."

Throughout lockdown, Mr Ali and his volunteers were also unable to provide their normal services to young people in the town, so took to the internet to provide online support and keep the SWITCH message alive.

Mr Ali said: "Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, SWITCH was forced to close until further notice.

"This left many young people from deprived communities within the town feeling lost, so we brought a new initiative out to help motivate the young people through this time."

The programme was devised to provide weekly challenges for youngsters focusing on sport, arts, music, dance, drama and education, all from the comfort of their own homes.

Called SWITCH@home, the initiative has seen young people completing challenges such as school work, helping around the house, using manners and being respectful to family, in order to earn stars.

Mr Ali added: "The dedicated volunteers at SWITCH post daily videos and pictures to demonstrate the challenges and help motivate the young people achieve their stars.

"And at the end of each week prizes are given.

"The feedback from both young people and parents has been absolutely amazing, and their motivation, hopes, mental health and physical health are improving day by day.

"So although SWITCH is closed we are actually with them every day, promoting our message to everyone that we are here to inspire the next generation."