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Wirral partners come together to start Eid festivities

Local children getting ready to celebrate Eid al-Fitr - or the festival of breaking the fast - received an early surprise yesterday afternoon, as local organisations got together to deliver gifts to 250 young people around Birkenhead.

Community outreach group Wirral Change were joined by representatives from Wirral Council, Gautby Road Community Centre and Merseyside Police on the eve of one of Islam’s largest festivals, which marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.

Traditional Eid al-Fitr festivities include giving presents and wearing new clothes, but the current coronavirus situation means that mosques will remain closed and community get-togethers will not be a part of this year’s celebrations.

Mark Camborne, the head of Wirral Council’s Safer Wirral service, said:  “Social distancing and all of the other changes brought about by coronavirus mean that this year’s celebrations will be different.

“However, thanks to a wonderful partnership of Wirral Change, Merseyside Police, Wirral Council and the local community, we have been able to bring a smile to dozens of children’s faces and wish them Eid sa’id or Happy Eid.”

Clint Agard, chief executive of Wirral Change, said: "We were delighted to work in partnership with Wirral Council and Merseyside Police to distribute gifts for Eid and see the sheer happiness on the faces of the children. We had planned to have a fun day to celebrate Eid, however due to COVID-19, we have provided gifts instead and are looking forward to celebrating all together at future events."

Although the festival is expected to start at sunset this evening, Saturday 23 May, the precise time is subject to the official sighting of the new crescent moon in Saudi Arabia.