Police and fire officers and community members came together to celebrate an interfaith iftar event aimed at rekindling the community spirit that became foremost during the pandemic.
The annual event gave community members from across various faiths in the County an opportunity to speak with people they may not otherwise do.
Organised by Northamptonshire Police, in conjunction with the charity Dialogue Society, and supported by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, the gathering brought together people from different backgrounds and faiths in a series of speeches aimed at increasing understanding and dialogue.
The community iftar event which took place on Sunday, April 24 at the Park Inn, Northampton, saw almost 90 people in attendance.
Speaking at the event, Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley, Head of Local Policing, said: “There is nothing better than to sit together, to open fast together and to share experiences together, which we’ve not been able to do.”
Superintendent Tuckley who took the decision to undertake fasting for the day to better understand his Muslim officers and staff who partake in the month-long experience, said of his involvement: “I set my alarm for 4am, switched it off and went back to sleep. I’m now regretting that decision as I realise my dependence on caffeine!”
He added: “While Covid still remains, there are now other major events happening. But what got us through the pandemic – coming together as a community – will get us through these world events.”
Faith liaison officer, Sophia Perveen, who organised the event, said: “Food really does bring people together. It was really heart-warming to see the unity and the mutual respect between so many different groups of people, coming together to fast, to discuss, to get to know each other’s differences and similarities and to eat together. Improving communication between our organisations and our communities can only be beneficial for our County.”
Nuran Urkmezturk, from the Dialogue Society, said: “The Dialogue Society has been hosting iftar events for over 20 years. They are a great opportunity to come together as a community. According to The Kindness Test, two thirds of us think the pandemic has made us kinder. I hope that we can continue with that kindness, implementing long lasting peace and unity in a post pandemic world.”