Promoting peace and understanding was a walk in the park for a Muslim community association.
Just under 100 people from different faiths and backgrounds took part in the Walk for Peace held in Hartlepool’s Ward Jackson Park on Sunday morning.
It was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association with the aim of bringing people from all walks of life together to promote peace, understanding and goodwill, and raise money for good causes.
The event was supported by new town MP Jill Mortimer, who addressed walkers before the start, and the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brenda Loynes, who joined in part of the walk.
Around 90 people took part in the charity Walk of Peace in Ward Jackson Park.
Tahir Selby, Imam of Hartlepool’s Nasir Mosque, said: “This is part of a national walk event which in 2019 raised £1 million for 600 affiliated charities around the UK.”
“Because of Covid this is one of 12 more low key regional walks happening at the same time and is raising money for four locally nominated charities.”
They are the Mayor’s chosen charities of Miles for Men and Alice House Hospice, plus The Annexe community centre, which the Nasir Mosque gives food to every week, and St Aidan’s Church.
Imam Selby added: “Ward Jackson is a very beautiful park and we’re very proud that we have it here in Hartlepool.”
Organisers and supporters of the Walk of Peace in Ward Jackson Park. Left to right: William Mortimer, Jill Mortimer MP, Bilal Atkinson President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hartlepool, Cllrs Dennis and Brenda Loynes, Tahir Selby and Waqas Anwar Regional Co-ordinator for Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association.
He said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Hartlepool has always had very close connections with the town’s MPs and mayors and was delighted to welcome Mrs Mortimer and Cllr Loynes to the event.
During the pandemic, the Ahmadiyya community in Hartlepool has given thousands of meals to NHS workers and those in need through St Aidan’s Church.
Mrs Mortimer said: “Our community in Hartlepool is filled with the British values of tolerance, mutual respect and kindness to one another, and I think our Ahmadi population within this community extol all those virtues and more.”
“As the Ahmadis so very well put it in their motto, Love For All And Hatred For None.”
The walk involved completing two laps of the park, or more for those who wished to, and lunch was provided afterwards.
Councillor Loynes said: “I think we should love each other and it’s important to work together.”
“I’m very pleased with the turnout and atmosphere.”
“I want to thank everybody for taking part and organisers for arranging it all.”