One of the wonders of Mummy’s Gin Fund (MGF) is how often it provides a space for women to shine. How often women grab awful situations by the horns and turn them into something special. One such woman is Asma Meer.
“Hey lovely women. I am a Muslim mum and have been saddened by the awful events in Paris but also heartened by the countless people have said that they will not be divided. I want my children to live in not just a safe world but also a fair and enriching world. My son’s classmates have asked him about ISIS and I had to tell him how far removed Islam is from their actions.
I really want to arrange afternoon tea where people can come and ‘meet a Muslim,‘ or just a tea party to show solidarity against Isis. If anyone is interested, please inbox me. I know our local mosque and synagogue and churches have issued a joint press release but I would like to arrange something for us mums as we are the educators of our children. Peace and love.”
In true MGF style, Asma’s outstretched hand of sisterhood was grabbed by many. Her offer was flooded with 800 likes and 250 comments in just 48 hours. Offers to host came from 3 different community centres and churches. And so, Peace of Cake was born.
Fast forward 18 months and Asma and her crew of volunteers continue to inspire and motivate us all. Through her unfaltering commitment to inclusion and solidarity, our children are introduced to every possible race, religion and person. Asma has arranged events, marches and tea parties, all with one underlying message: communication and cohesion will always outshine division and hate. Because of Asma, our community – both on and off-line – has become a friendlier, more understanding and more tolerant place for both adults and children alike. From all sectors of our community, questions have been welcomed and answered honestly, discussion has been encouraged and arms have been open wide.
For all these reasons, and too many more to mention, I will be nominating Asma for a Pride Of Britain award. As many of you will know, the Trinity Mirror’s Pride of Britain awards event is the only one in the UK to celebrate the work of our unsung heroes. Televised in October, it is guaranteed to bring a tear to even the steeliest of eyes. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to get past the opening credits without welling up.
TSB has its own specific award on the night – the TSB Community Partner Award, which recognises and celebrates ordinary people who make amazing contributions to their local communities. This one should have Asma’s name all over it. In gold sparkly lights. With bells on. And a little person who blows a trumpet every time she walks past.
Not a day goes past when I am not left (almost) speechless at the acts of selfless, generous, community spirited, warm loveliness that happen in MGF. Asma epitomizes all that is great about sisterhood, community and cohesion. She walks into rooms of people who are scared of her, want to hurt her, reject her beliefs, believe she should ‘go home’, think she is oppressed, blame her for terrorism and hate her. She walks in with her head held high and her arms outstretched. It doesn’t matter who she is talking to – she makes them feel equal and valued. Through her, our community is learning to embrace difference and our children are being taught that we are all the same. She is making the world a better place.
If you would like to win tickets to the Pride of Britain awards, you will need to get yourself to a participating TSB branch and have your photo taken with one of the team of Minis whizzing around the country (see dates and times here).
I went along to Baker Street with Toddler and Baby Gin today and had a blast. I even got to meet my total girl crush, Fiona Phillips. Share your picture on social media using #PrideofBritain and you might end up on the red carpet along-side heroes and celebs. For more information, check out www.tsb.co.uk/local-pride.