A Blackburn man is fasting for the whole month of Ramadan to raise funds for two charities.

Phil Heyworth, 35, said he also wanted to show solidarity with Muslims who are fasting this month.

Ramadan began on Thursday this week (March 23) and ends 29 or 30 days later, around April 21.

However, the beginning and end dates may change depending on the sighting of the new moon.

This year Muslims will fast for over 14 hours from sunrise at 6am to sunset at 6.30pm.

With the clocks going forward over the weekend the fast will then open at around 7.35pm, and as summer approaches the sunrise will get earlier each day.

Phil said: “I have not done much preparation but I have taken part a daily fast in the past.

“I am told it is not as long as the summer months but we shall see how it goes.

“I have been handed a calendar with all the timings on and I will be up at the crack of dawn to eat something.

“I don’t think the food will be an issue but more the lack of water.

“As well as raise money for charity it brings me closer to my Muslim colleagues.”

Phil, an engineer said he was sat with friends at a restaurant when the idea came about.

“It was really just something we came up over dinner when we were discussing Ramadan with my Muslim friends. So, I thought why not and I can raise money for charity too.

“The manager of the Kebabish restaurant overheard the challenge and even offered to feed me for the month for free!”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Phil with friends Sharafat and Yasir enjoying a Chai before Ramadan

The dad-of-two said his family had been really supportive: “They have been really good and are backing me all the way.”

He was hoping to raise money for the Pendleside Hospice and the Turkey and Syria Earthquake appeals and has set up two separate Just Giving Pages.

“Pendleside Hospice looks after our friends, family and people in our community every year, with only a small percentage of its funding coming from the government.

"Pendleside relies heavily on local support to make sure the great work they do continues.

“I set a target for £500 and am hoping to achieve it with the support of people from across communities.”

The first day of the fast went to plan apart from an early morning hiccup.

He said: “I got up with about 12 minutes to spare so hurriedly ate. The next day it was a bit rough but I got through it and then headaches kicked in at around 4pm.

“I opened the fast with some water and coconut water and later had some pasta. Glad I made it through. I am told it gets easier.”

The next morning (Friday) Phil was joined by his son.

"I got up with plenty of time this time. 

“My lad wanted to try to fast for the day as his friend at school was doing it. He turned up at the kitchen door in the morning so I couldn’t really say no!”

You can support Phil here:

Pendleside Hospice appeal: https://www.justgiving.com/page/phil-hey-ramadan2023

Red Cross Earthquake appeal: https://www.justgiving.com/page/philhey-ramadan2023