A huge clean up organised by a Blackburn mosque saw 250 bags, equating to a tonne of rubbish collected in one afternoon.

The Community Litter Pick organised by the Masjide Noorul Islam on Audley Range took place on Saturday (April 17). Volunteers covered a 500m radius of the Audley and Queens Park area cleaning almost 100 streets in the process - all of this whilst fasting!

All bag totals and exact collection points, as well as various fly tip locations were reported to Blackburn with Darwen Cleansing Department. With each bag weighing at least 4kg the mosque said they had collected a whole tonne of rubbish during the clean up.

Mosque President Yusuf Seedat said the project was inspired by the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who had said ‘Cleanliness is half of faith’. 

He said: “As part of the Masjide Noorul Islam events and community group, the topic of ‘keeping the neighbourhood clean’ has been part of our plans for quite a while. 

“As the roadmap out of lockdown was announced, the volunteers met and planned a clean-up for the Audley and Queens Park wards. We initially sent out a poster and asked people to register using an online form that we had set up.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The mosque had a great response with over 60 adults and young people, both  ale and female registering to help out. Litter picking equipment was delivered to the mosque by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Mr Seedat said: “Organisers had divided an area covering a 0.5km radius from the mosque building into 11 zones.  On the day we split the volunteers into 11 Groups (one for each zone) covering almost 100 streets in the area. 

“A central team remained in the mosque car park to monitor the communications on the Group Leaders WhatsApp group and attend to their group’s needs. 

“The weather was beautiful and with people fasting, the local people rolled up their sleeves and got together to clean up the neighbourhood. 

“After 2 hours of exceptional teamwork, we were astonished to see how much our volunteers had managed to achieve.

“That is an incredible amount of rubbish! We are motivated to keep this going and we will be working on organising regular clean-ups to continue to inspire more and more people to play their part.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mr Seedat said they plan to work on community education and possibly a marketing campaign using messages that resonate with our community, “The response and feedback from residents on the back of this clean-up has been excellent. A heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who took part.”

“Many volunteers have since formed their own mini-groups to litter pick their own streets on a more frequent basis

“Local residents are requesting regular access to borrow the equipment we have to clean their streets. We urge everyone in our town to keep Blackburn with Darwen tidy and educate households on not to throw any rubbish outside. We can’t wait for our next clean-up."