Breaking down barriers with cupcakes and roses
A group of ladies from the World Association of Muslim youth distributed red roses and cupcakes to women in the town centre to mark International Women's Day.
The volunteers wanted to break down barriers between communities and express a gesture of peace and love.
Yasmin Stannard volunteered for one of the events in Luton in July and was encouraged by the responses from all the communities in the town.
She said: “I decided to gather some friends and raise money to distribute roses for International Women’s Day.
“Between October and January we raised £600 to fund the project and once we arranged a date we got some more volunteers to help us prepare and distribute the roses.
“We were all working as volunteers for the project and we all came together with the common purpose to break down barriers and spread a message of unity.”
The ladies handed out 500 roses on Saturday, each rose had a card attached to it with a positive Islamic message about women in an attempt to break down the stereotype that Islam oppresses women.
They also handed out home-made cupcakes and there was a stall where ladies could try on a headscarf.
Yasmin said: “The event was a great success with many ladies happily receiving their free rose.
“Even the ‘try a scarf’ activity was embraced by many ladies, many of them happy to be able to wrap up a bit more in the cold temperature.
“As intended, it provided the platform to embark in some friendly discussions between members of the varying communities in Luton.
“Organisers and volunteers of the event were happy that their objectives were met.
“It brought communities together and initiated conversations.
“It is hoped that the event broke down some barriers and dispels the negative stereotypes that some people might hold about Muslims living in Luton.
“We hope the communities can continue to work together on many more projects in the future to prove that we can and are united in this great, multi-cultural town of Luton.”