Preston North End fan Mo Patel and his grandparents were featured in a special English Football League (EFL) Eid celebration.
Mo volunteered via Preston United, to support the Preston North End Community and Education Trust’s Ramadan project, with his grandma Huri and granddad Ali both benefited from the initiative. He is now keen to influence fans from all religions in making them feel welcome at the club.
Preston United is a youth development programme supporting young people in Preston, with Mo’s involvement in the group originally seeing him attend his first match at Deepdale as a five-year-old, which has led to his dedicated and passionate support for the club ever since.
His work volunteering for Preston North End Community and Education Trust supported the local Muslim community with Iftar pack deliveries throughout the month of Ramadan.
Mo was one of several dedicated volunteers to support the Ramadan project by manning one of the stalls handing out packs in the community, or going door-to-door, delivering the packs that are used by those celebrating Ramadan to break their fast after sunset each evening.
He has been delighted that his volunteering role has led to him becoming more closely involved with Preston North End Community and Education Trust. Mo has continued to experience the warm welcome from Preston North End that he has always felt, ever since attending his first matches at Deepdale.
Following his time as a volunteer, Mo has now secured a role as a Community Engagement Officer with the Trust and is keen to continue to be part of the great work that’s being done to make everyone from the Preston community feel welcome at the club.
He said: “Everyone has their own beliefs. As the Community and Education Trust, we’re here to celebrate those beliefs and educate people on those beliefs. We’re here to make everyone feel welcome.”
Mo is keen to work with Preston North End to ensure that practicalities are considered on matchdays as part of this understanding and celebration.
“Since I started at PNE, I’ve put a lot of ideas forward and everyone is really receptive to them. One thing I would love to see is prayer rooms introduced to football grounds. That’s something that I’m really keen on – I think that could be really important to helping more people attend.”
“I’m proud be a North End fan; with everything they do behind the scenes, with Gentry Day and everything that goes on in the community, it’s a lot more than just football with PNE, and that’s one thing I realised from an early stage.
“To have a football club speaking up and speaking out and educating people in the process, it just raises awareness and reaches a wider audience.
“Football has the ability to have a major impact on society and in the community.”