Faraz Ahmed was born to be a volunteer for The Feast. He is the longest standing volunteer and although he has given so much to The Feast, he always says The Feast has given him more.
Faraz’s first volunteer experience, back when The Feast was just beginning, was on a residential weekend. Sitting on the minibus, en route to the venue, he got talking with Andrew Smith whose passion for the work of The Feast was infectious. There began Faraz’s journey and he has continued to inspire and lead young people ever since.
Although he has a demanding career as a pharmacist, Faraz is always willing to give up time to run youth encounters and events as part of the Birmingham team. One of his favourite events is working down at our adopted stretch of canal – especially if we are clearing the canal with grappling hooks.
Like all our volunteers, Faraz is a great advocate for The Feast. In a previous blog post, he wrote:
“I cannot say thank you enough for… everything I have received from The Feast. This is a charity that has an impact on so many people. It is easy to live parallel lives, even with our neighbours and especially if they are of a different faith. The Feast helps break down these walls, and has let me make so many new friends and go on these adventures.”
And what adventures he has had with The Feast! As well as countless trips to the canal and numerous holiday youth encounters, Faraz was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party in 2015, following our Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. More recently, he was part of the team leading our first National Youth Challenge Weekend and following that, he lead workshops at the Faith and Iman Conference in Chicago, sharing his experience of running youth encounters.
The Feast has gained so much from Faraz, but he always says he has gained more. He credits The Feast with supporting his own faith journey and helping him grow as a Muslim, but Faraz has helped many young people and made such a difference in his local community. Whenever he pops in to The Feast office, whether to prepare for an event, or just to say hello, he brings cheer. Perhaps the best way to show what Faraz brings to The Feast is in the words of one of the parents, whose son, Uzair, comes to our events:
‘I want Uzair to grow up to be like Faraz – he is such an amazing young man.’