Transport for London (TFL) employee Faeem Ahmed has rounded up his colleagues on many occasions to do bucket collections for those caught up in emergencies overseas.
Now he’s focusing on those caught up in last week’s terror attack in London.
Faeem has worked as a trainer at TFL for 21 years. The 44-year-old from Tottenham teaches London Underground Operational staff in all aspects of customer service, safety, security and fire training.
It was around 11 years ago that Faeem decided to form a group of staff who volunteered to fundraise for the Disasters Emergency Committee – a coalition of humanitarian agencies and charities who mobilise to respond to emergencies overseas.
Around 50 people now make up Faeem’s group, giving up their spare time to hold fundraising buckets at TFL stations.
“Whenever there’s a flood, earthquake or other disaster abroad, I call all my volunteers together and we go out to stations across London to raise money,” Faeem said.
“But after the Manchester and London attacks I really wanted to do something to help people here who’d been affected.”
Last Saturday eight people were killed and dozens injured after attacks on London Bridge and nearby Borough Market.
The British Red Cross launched the UK Solidarity Fund in response to the recent events in London and Manchester.
The Red Cross is organising a ‘Saturday Night for London’ this weekend to help raise funds – Faeem and his trusty team are backing the campaign.
“Transport for London staff love our city, we love the people of London and we want to do all we can to help Londoners who need us right now,” Faeem said.
On the night
Through a Saturday Night for London, the Red Cross is working in partnership with businesses across the capital to give people the option to raise money in three ways: Dish for London, Cheers for London, and Ride for London.
As part of Dish for London, restaurants – including those in the area of the attacks – will be donating money from a chosen dish.
Gourmet Goat, based in Borough Market, will be serving little pots of Koliva – a traditional East Mediterranean dish offered in memory of life that has passed. Each ingredient has an ancient symbolism including celebration of life and a search for peace.
For Cheers for London, cafes, pubs and bars, including all 120 Greene King Pubs in the capital, will be holding collections for the fund, encouraging customers to say ‘Cheers to London’ with a donation.
The chain Eat will encourage customers to donate the price of a coffee.
For Ride for London, Uber is pledging to donate £1 for every trip taken in London this Saturday night (between 8pm and midnight).
For those planning a night in, Deliveroo will make a £1 donation for every single order placed across London on Saturday from 6pm onwards.
As well as TFL, many others will be holding collections across the capital, including theatres and the NightRider charity bike ride.
How the money helps
Proceeds raised through this night of activity will go to the British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund, helping victims of terror attacks anywhere in the UK, and right now in London.
The fund will support people who have been injured, bereaved or traumatised by terror attacks in the UK, helping to alleviate immediate suffering and ensure that victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties.
Faeem and his team have already raised over £23,000 for those affected by recent attacks.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who has donated so far,” said Faeem.