Ilford MPs get stuck in at Parliament to help launch Mitzvah Day 2019
PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 October 2019
@ Yakir Zur Photography
Ilford MPs Mike Gapes and Wes Streeting attended the parliamentary launch of Mitzvah Day 2019 earlier this month as they recognised the "fantastic work" the charity does to help others.
Mitzvah Day takes place on and around Sunday November 17 and will see 40,000 Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths and none, come together around the world to give their time, not their money, in social action projects that make a real difference to the community around them.
MPs from across the political spectrum came together at the event, making gift bags out of old newspapers and filling them with toiletries to help the homeless.
All toiletries were donated to The Passage, a Catholic charity which offers a wide range of year-round services to meet the varying and complex needs of homeless and vulnerable people - inspiring them to transform their lives.
Mr Streeting, who hosted the event in his role as co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, said: "Mitzvah Day has become an annual 'must do' in the calendar of many MPs - as we recognise the fantastic work the charity does in bringing together people, often of different faiths, to make a practical difference to our local communities and educate people about what a 'mitzvah' is ultimately about, which is doing something for others rather than just ourselves."
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And Mr Gapes added: "I am delighted once again to be supporting Mitzvah Day, having been involved from the very start.
"I love seeing co-operation across different faiths and communities to help others, including The Passage which does transformative work with homeless people in Westminster."
Other MPs and peers at the launch included Mike Freer, Lord Younger, Lord Pickles (Con), Ruth Smeeth, Fabian Hamilton), Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, Sir Peter Bottomley, Ian Austin and Stephen Timms.
Mitzvah Day chief executive Georgina Bye said: "It was fantastic to see so many MPs and peers getting stuck in and making these recycled newspaper bags.
"It's a wonderful way to wrap gifts for service users at night shelters or toy collections as part of Mitzvah Day projects as well as your Chanukah gifts or all year round.
"This is just one of the many ways that we can make small changes in our lives to live more sustainably."