BIRMINGHAM: Officers joined with people from different religions, cultures and professions for an inaugural interfaith event in Sandwell.
Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and other worshippers attended the Interfaith Launch in Smethwick, which was held to mark the country’s first ever national Thank You Day on Sunday (4 July).
Police officers came together with faith leaders, neighbours, changemakers and public service members to thank the ‘hidden heroes’ of the pandemic and praise those who have helped bring communities together throughout lockdown.
Chief Superintendent Ian Green was a guest speaker at the event, which was held outside the Holy Trinity Church in Smethwick.
He personally thanked the public for their support and said he had ‘seen communities come together through faith, organisations and volunteer groups during Covid’.
Other speakers included Shabnam Mughal from the Abrahamic Foundation, Shoba Sharma from Sandwell Council, Sukhwinder Singh from Faithful Friends and Reverend David Gould from the church.
Also present was the mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Mushtaq Hussain, as well as West Midlands Fire Service, NHS workers and school staff. Guests enjoyed a fire engine display, vegan cupcakes and even some Russian poetry.
Public health services, scientists and frontline and essential workers were thanked for providing services throughout the pandemic and putting their lives at risk to save others.
Praise was also given to local people who made the difference by delivering food to people’s doors and doing shop runs for the vulnerable.
Ch Supt Ian Green added: “This was a really inspiring event that brought together people from all backgrounds. It was wonderful to meet with civic and faith leaders and to listen to the personal experiences, prayers and poems that were shared.
“After the past difficult year, we were honoured to thank all those who have been lifesavers in lockdown. The generosity of the community is overwhelming and I’d like to thank the public for how they have reacted during these very challenging times.”