A Luton businessman has started a ‘good neighbour’ initiative in Luton’s St Margarets Avenue where he lives with his wife and family.
Mo Miah – who also co-founded the charity Young Minds Organisation Trust, aimed at preventing child labour – wants to encourage better relations and trust with neighbours in order to build a more cohesive community.
And his idea has already had a positive response. A survey he organised last week revealed that almost 99 per cent of residents support his plan and he now has a 13-strong committee to help him turn his dream into a reality.
Mo initially invited a selection of neighbours from all walks of life to discuss the best way forward.
He said: “They were teachers, mechanics, IT consultants and businessmen.
“We all agreed that sadly we really don’t know each other, whether we’re people of faith or no faith at all.
“I wanted everyone to become close friends so we could fulfil our neighbourly responsibilities and develop a structure that will continue and last into future generations.
“Ramadan seemed the perfect time to start this project. It’s the holy month for Muslims and we thought it would be fantastic to begin with a neighbourhood party for those who are fasting.
“But because it’s late when we break the fast, we will give food parcels to our non-Muslim neighbours a few hours before the event so everyone can feel part of it.
“We all live on the same road and we need to support each other and be there for each other. It’s quite a nice area that allows you to knock on neighbours’ doors and have a cup of tea.”
Mo’s idea has already been enthusiastically embraced.
He appeared on Yasmeen Khan’s Sunday night show on BBC 3CR to discuss it with neighbours Janet Potts and Jafar Shah who both thought the response thad been overwhelmingly positive.
Janet said: “I thought it was brilliant and want to give Mo my full support. I bought a bunch of flowers for my neighbour the other day because she was looking a bit down.”
Jafar added: “We need to foster that community spirit, no matter what religion people come from.”
Mo added: “Even though we come from different backgrounds, we live side by side and knowing each other and caring for each other is more important than anything else.”
> If you’re interested in learning more contact Mo at Kynstmargarets@gmail.com