Everyone’s a cup holder as Liverpool loan their precious trophy
Up for the cup: Jessica Bernstein with Liverpool’s famous trophy
Liverpool Football Club gave the Merseyside Mitzvah Day programme an added kick by loaning the European Cup it permanently holds - recognising the club having won the trophy five times -as well as making a financial contribution.
Some of the 250-plus local participants took the opportunity to have their picture taken with the trophy, among them organiser Jessica Bernstein, who put the programme together in six days.
The early birds were outside Roseman's deli at 7.30am collecting food for a homeless shelter. Toys and clothes were packed for distribution to disadvantaged children and families. Books donated will create a new library at the Stapely residential home, which will also receive toys to amuse youngsters visiting elderly relatives and Mitzvah Day-produced fairy cakes. Food parcels were dispatched to the city's Jewish sheltered housing projects.
Goods worth £800 were collected for the homeless by Manchester Reform Synagogue supporters through a "buy one, give one" appeal to shoppers outside the West Didsbury branch of Somerfield. Brookvale special needs residents were taken to the Jewish Museum. Also in the city, Hale cheder students made cards and gifts for families in Eastern Europe and Israel and North Cheshire Jewish Primary pupils were busy baking in aid of a hospice. Habonim put 50 members to work painting wellington boots and filling them with plants for residents of the Heathlands home. "The kids got their hands dirty but they also understood the concept of giving," reported fieldworker Marc Fink.
In Glasgow, Calderwood Lodge Primary pupils raised over £700 for the Children in Need appeal, in the process also earning the right to attend school for a day in the clothes of their choosing. All good deeds were recorded on Calderwood's "mitzvah wall".
Elsewhere in the city, UJIA supporters helped Maccabi clear its premises of unwanted items including old fridges and a freezer.
Leeds North East Labour MP Fabian Hamilton was impressed by the turnout of 200 local volunteers, praising Sara Cross and her team of organisers on a job well done. "I trust today will be a chance for us to give something of ourselves for the benefit of all," he said.
Among tasks undertaken was the decorating of two empty Leeds Jewish Housing Association flats by mostly twentysomething members of Leeds Jewish Initiative. LJI's Natalie Jackson hoped the day would highlight the importance of volunteering, pointing out: "It is very rewarding helping others, especially the underprivileged and lonely."
Other volunteers made door-to-door collections for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board's charity shop or spent time reading to or playing games with residents of Donisthorpe Hall aged home.
Children from Nottingham's Orthodox and Reform synagogues gave a concert with Muslim and Sikh youngsters. Rather than pay an admission fee, the audience was asked to donate toys, which were passed on to a local charity. Interfaith worker Clive Burton was the driving force behind the project, assisted by Phil Rosen, Neil Pike and Elaine Hamer. Olivia Joseph was among children interviewed on local radio about their involvement in the day.
Cambridge community members stood outside Sainsbury's all day asking shoppers to buy items needed by three homeless shelters. They filled 50 bags of goods for delivery. Thompson's Lane Synagogue ran a social for elderly Cambridge Jews at which students provided the entertainment. Jewish societies on other regional campuses also engaged in Mitzvah Day activities. In Oxford, a sponsored sleep-out was held in aid of the Oxford night shelter. Reading students visited senior community members. A Darfur awareness scheme was run in Exeter. Bath J-soc will stage its charitable fundraiser this weekend, selling smoked salmon bagels to hungry clubbers in the early hours.
In Brighton, members of the Progressive congregation collected three large boxes of toiletries for distribution by the Migrant Helpline to detainees at Gatwick.