“Everyone is seen to be part of one big family. This is why I wanted to provide support during Ramadan.”
Avanti West Coast's Zeb Nash explains why he is helping Muslims as they observe the holy month in the Islamic calendar.
26 April 2022
Avanti West Coast Customer Service Assistant, Zeb Nash, shares how he is supporting the Muslim community travelling on the West Coast Main Line during Ramadan.
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and requires self-discipline. Each day, at sunset, those observing this period in the Islamic calendar can end their daily fast with an evening meal known as Iftar. As a former practising Muslim, I know from personal experience it’s difficult to observe Iftar if you’re out and about commuting – you can forget your food or break your fast after Iftar times.
As a Community Champion based at Stoke-on-Trent station, I’m always looking to do my bit to make a difference to people locally, so I saw Ramadan as an opportunity to do that.
There’s a large Muslim community here in Stoke-on-Trent – with one of the biggest mosques in the city only a 10-minute walk from the station. We also have regular Muslim commuters travelling by train.
I want to help our local Muslim community - especially those who may be making long journeys by train this Ramadan, so I came up with the idea of providing takeaway refreshments throughout the day at Stoke-on-Trent station.
"I also hope it will help to educate people about Islam, Ramadan, and the Muslim community. The word “Islam” roughly translates to peace, and that’s the message I want to spread to people." - Zeb Nash
I sought the thoughts of my colleague, Iqbal Khan, at Birmingham International, who is a practising Muslim. He loved it and was keen to offer something similar to people travelling to and from his station.
Together we’ve each created refreshment bags containing dates (traditionally eaten by Muslims breaking fast because of their nutritional value) crisps, and water. These can be collected at Birmingham International and Stoke-on-Trent stations until Ramadan ends. We chose to keep the items simple, so they’re easy to have while on the move.
With the support of our colleagues, we’re pleased to be helping this community local to our stations and travelling on our route to break their fast.
Across the business we have a lot of employees who are Muslims and I hope this initiative will give our staff an insight into what their colleagues are undertaking as part of Ramadan.
I also hope it will help to educate people about Islam, Ramadan, and the Muslim community. The word “Islam” roughly translates to peace, and that’s the message I want to spread to people.
I feel the religion has taught me values, which I live by every day – treat others as you wish to be treated. Everyone is seen to be part of one big family. This means we look out for one another and is why I wanted to do my bit to provide support on our route this Ramadan.
Images (Top to bottom): Zeb Nash with refreshment bags; Zeb Nash at Stoke-on-Trent station; Crisps, dates and water are available for Muslims to collect until the end of Ramadan; Zeb Nash with refreshment bags at Stoke-on-Trent station