A Muslim youth organisation has been recognised with a reception at the Houses of Parliament for raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity last year.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) raised the money, which went to 42 different British charities including the British Red Cross, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Marie Curie and Save the Children, through its charitable campaign ‘Mercy for Mankind’.

Their fundraising activities over the last year, including cycling from Paris to Morden, a hike in the Bavarian Alps and 10k runs in Hyde Park and Manchester’s Heaton Park, led to AMYA raising their highest ever amount of £400,000.

Wimbledon Times:

Mehmood Ahmad, 33, on the 300 mile journey from Paris to Morden

September 16: Riding for peace: Ahmadiyya Muslim Cycle Club cover 300 miles for charity

On Wednesday, March 2, 70 guests including Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP, the minister for counter extremism Lord Tariq of Wimbledon and international development secretary Justine Greening MP, gathered in the famous Cholmondeley room and terrace in the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the achievement.

National AMYA president, Mirza Waqas Ahmad, said: “The motivation for our work is our religion, Islam, but today Muslims are in the press for the wrong reasons and our religion is being hijacked by those who profess to follow it, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“Our religion itself is the very motivation and inspiration underlying the objectives of our work.”

Mr Farron told the gathering: “You have made a massive difference for integration and community cohesion across the United Kingdom because of your commitment to acts of good and service to peace.”

Wimbledon Times:

Tim Farron speaking at the reception

Charities were presented with large cheques during the gathering, including more than £22,000 for the British Red Cross, more than £24,000 for the Children’s Trust in Tadworth and £124, 877 for the aid charity Humanity First.

Head of fundraising at Barnardo’s Ann Little, who was given a cheque for £7,500, said: “What is so special is that it is the young helping the young.

“AMYA provide an exemplary example of mentoring their youth and breaking down negative stereotypes.

“They turn up in all weathers for store collections bust most importantly they are always smiling. My whole team absolutely love working with the volunteers.”

Wimbledon Times:

Almost £125,000 was donated to aid charity Humanity First

Sylvia Pilling, who was helped by volunteers from AMYA during the flooding in Cumbria at the end of last year, also attended the reception. 

She said: "I have never seen such dedication and I'm absolutely overwhelmed at the selflessness of the people who came.

"I'm absolutely grateful for everything they did. More people ought to know about this section of the Muslim community and what they do."