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Leeds student on top of the world after climbing British mountain for charity


By Xanthe Palmer

A STUDENT from Leeds raised nearly £300 for Islamic Relief’s’ 2016 charity week by climbing one of the tallest mountains in the British Isles.

Ummesalama Hassanali, a 19-year-old Muslim dentistry student from the University of Leeds raised £248.51 by climbing Snowdon on Saturday.

She was joined by about 150 other students who travelled down to Wales from Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Newcastle and Liverpool.

Each set up their own online donation page titled ‘Everyday Hero’ and set a target of how much money they wamountainnted to raise.

Ummesalama quickly increased her initial target of £50, after beating it within days of starting, to £300.

Each student raised roughly £200, collectively raising nearly a staggering £30,000 for Islamic Relief.

The money donated will support clean water projects in 30 different countries such as Pakistan and Syria, one of many schemes organised by Islamic Relief.

Two thirds of the water projects are set up for ‘emergency relief’ in countries in urgent need of clean, safe water due to natural disasters.

Islamic Relief harvest clean water from reservoirs during rainy seasons throughout the year to provide water in times of drought for people and cattle.

Martin Cottingham, communications officer at Islamic Relief said: “The benefits of fundraising with events like this goes far beyond money.

“It’s about spreading the word and raising awareness of the charity and helps build a strong volunteer network.

“Volunteers are so important to us, they are the bedrock of the charity.”

Ummesalama said: “I’m so glad I did it, I had so much fun and met some really nice people.

“The charity hit a chord with me because what they do is incredible, and this is a small way I can give back and help.

“You see rashidapictures of dead children and it’s kind of normalised now, it’s horrific.”

Ummesalama’s parents supported her in taking part in the fundraiser and said they were very proud of her efforts.

Ummesalama’ mother, Rashida Hassanali, 52 said: “We’re so proud of her willingness to give something back to society in the form of fundraising as I have spent many years involved in community work and my husband has worked in Syria, Libya and Sudan, all countries affected by civil wars so the work of Islamic Relief is really important to us.

“It was a proud moment to see Ummesalama reach and then exceed her sponsorship target and I hope she goes on to even greater heights…literally!”

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