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Staff from across UHNM come together for first open iftar

More than 50 members of staff from across University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) attended a free iftar gathering at the Royal Stoke last week to mark the month of Ramadan.

The event, which was the first UHNM-wide iftar, saw staff from across the Trust gather at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s restaurant for prayer and then food to break their fast on Thursday evening.

The event was organised by UHNM’s Organisational Development, Culture and Inclusion team with support from UHNM Charity, UHNM Chaplaincy and Sodexo.

Members of UHNM’s Executive Team, including Chief Executive Tracy Bullock, not only attended but fasted for the day.

Sadaf Butt, Organisational Development Consultant at UHNM said: "We organised this iftar gathering not just to break our fast together, but also to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion among our colleagues during this holy month. As we came together in unity, we envisioned a future where we embrace compassion and inclusivity, in making UHNM a great place to work where all are welcomed, valued, and celebrated.

“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all those who contributed in making this iftar possible, from our colleagues in Sodexo, to UHNM’s Charity and Chaplaincy teams. Each and everyone’s efforts and generosity are a reflection of the true spirit of Ramadan.

“I would also like to thank our Executive team who have been instrumental in the planning of this gathering through their unwavering encouragement and support. Their belief in fostering a sense of community and inclusivity within our organisation has been truly inspiring."

Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, began in 11 March this year and is set to last for 30 days until 9 April.

The holy month is a time for spiritual reflection and sees Muslims from around the world refrain from food and drink, including water, during daylight hours.

Iftar is the meal that takes place when Muslims break their fast, immediately after sunset.

Jane Haire, Chief People Officer at UHNM, added: “Along with other members of UHNM’s Execuitve Team, I was delighted to have not only joined staff from across UHNM for this iftar, but also fast for day to show my support to all our Muslim colleagues. It was a wonderful opportunity to take part in, and meet so many lovely members of staff from across the organisation, and I would like to thank those involved in organising it.”