LISTENERS to a tiny inner-city Leeds community radio station have raised £80,000 for the Pakistan flood appeal. And that has taken the Yorkshire aid total past £1m.
Radio Asian Fever (RAF), in Roundhay Road in one of the most deprived parts of the city, survives on grants and fundraising alone. Its DJs are all volunteers from the community. But an appeal to the station’s listeners saw a massive response – and raised nearly three times the initial target in one month. The effort has added to the £1m raised in Yorkshire for the Islamic Relief charity’s Pakistan Flood Appeal. RAF manager Jabbar Karim, who launched the not-for-profit station just three years ago, said: “Our target was £30,000 if we were lucky, but the community has been absolutely fantastic and we want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated. “It wasn’t even big donations on the whole, it was £10 here and £20 there. “We saw people coming in every day. One older gentleman would go round the taxi driver community collecting two or three pounds from each and over four or five days he raised around £2,000. “Another senior citizen, a Mr Crawford, just came in one day and gave us a £1,000 banker’s draft.
“It shows there is real community cohesion around here.” The total of £81, 329.32 hasnow been handed over. Islamic Relief has now raised £10m nationally. Many weeks after monsoon flooding ravaged the country, millions of Pakistani families remain displaced and in dire need. As the waters have subsided, diseases like malaria have become risks. Anestimated 20 million people are thought to have been affected, with 20 per cent of the country under water. The money raised in Leeds will help pay for tents, food parcels and hygiene kits. Zia Salik, northern fundraiser for Islamic Relief, said: “It was quite phenomenal. “The response we got is a credit to the listeners of RAF. “It’s unusual because it’s a small community radio station, not a commercial one, but it just goes to show that the community trusts RAF and Jabbar a lot.” To donate to the flood appeal, visit www.islamic-relief.org.uk or via the Disasters Emergency Committee at www.dec.org.uk. People can also donate a box of essential items, like water and high-energy biscuits and snacks, as part of the Leeds Lifebox appeal for Pakistan. Every box donated will be be flown to Pakistan free by PIA within 36 hours. Call 07932 088234 or 07710 348986 for details on putting together a Leeds Lifebox.