Meet Intesar, Burnley’s new volunteering superstar
Everything will be fine. Don’t worry, there is hope. Be optimistic. Don’t forget to smile!
These are the messages that Intesar and her two young kids have been sharing with their neighbours in Burnley – written in coloured paper and wrapped neatly with candies and biscuits – to remind them that despite this terrible pandemic, the sun will rise again.
Ever since resettling in the UK from her hometown of Homs, in Syria, Intesar has been keen to give back to her local community. As a volunteer at the Burnley Council for Voluntary Service, she has been buying and distributing food to families during COVID as a way of saying thanks. Every single Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, she’s busy sorting out food parcels, collecting donations, and handing out essential goods at people’s doors – all while observing social distancing and using proper protection.
For her, this is a way of returning the favour to the country she now calls home. “The UK has given me so much,” Intesar told me.
But for her kids, she hopes this can be an opportunity to learn that kindness begets kindness, and that no matter what happens, hope is always the last to die.
“I allowed them to participate so that they could learn from a young age to be inspiring and influential in their community,” she said. “And that the work, no matter how small and simple – its impact will be great on others.”
To help or donate visit care4calais.org