Royal visitors lend a hand at mosque

THE Earl and Countess of Wessex joined volunteers at Woking’s Shah Jahan Mosque to help pack emergency food parcels for vulnerable people across the borough.

The royal couple also delivered a personal video message for the local and wider Muslim community to mark the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid Mubarak celebrations.

Prince Edward packing an emergency food parcels

With the generous support of local churches, businesses and the community, the mosque has already delivered more than 700 parcels to help local residents through the coronavirus crisis.

“The Earl and Countess of Wessex were warmly welcomed back to Woking and we were delighted with their help getting much-needed supplies out to those most impacted by the crisis,” said Shahid Azeem, High Sheriff of Surrey.

“We were also proud to share our story and to show them the remarkable, collaborative effort being undertaken by the entire community here.”

The Earl and Countess of Wessex chat with Imam Hafiz Hashmi and his wife Kawther Akhtar

Prince Edward and Sophie also met with Imam Hafiz Hashmi and his wife Kawther Akhtar, who spearheads Surrey Faith Links, an organisation which promotes engagement, support and good relationships with faith groups and other organisations across the country.  

The mosque visit follows other recent visits to meet and aid local volunteers. In April, the Countess helped at Woking Foodbank to pack emergency food parcels and baby supplies.

Earlier this month, on International Nurses Day, Sophie volunteered to help pack food packages for healthcare staff and met with nurses and midwives at St Peter’s Hospital.  

In 2015, Prince Edward officially opened a memorial garden in Woking in honour of Muslims who fought for Britain during two world wars. The Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden at Horsell Common is popular with the local community, as well as national and international visitors.

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