Over the last month, our employee-led network REACH has taken the opportunity to shine a light on the holy month of Ramadan, its festivities and what it means for our people.

We’ve held introductory talks on Islam and Ramadan, featured blogs from colleagues sharing their personal experiences, and invited you to get involved and show your support. For Muslims, these practices don’t just stop at the end of Ramadan but are encouraged to continue throughout the year, which is an approach we’re all free to adopt or take snippets from.

As we’ve heard from Tanzin, Captain Hashmi and Nilofer, Ramadan holds profound significance for Muslims, however its observance extends far beyond the boundaries of faith, offering valuable lessons and opportunities for all of us.

Here Chris Lees, Chief Experience Officer and Exec Sponsor of faith and socio-economic related issues at Carnival UK, shares his thoughts…

“Reflecting on Captain Hashmi’s words, in a business as diverse as ours Ramadan serves as a bridge between cultures, it provides a unique lens through which people from different backgrounds can learn about one another, breaking down barriers and celebrating shared values of community, respect and compassion. In multicultural societies, and places of work, it serves as a reminder of our interconnectedness and shared humanity, reminding us there’s much more that brings us together, than keeps us apart.

Whilst talking to people about what Ramadan meant to them, it was immediately obvious that its observance is an intensely personal experience; some may choose to fast strictly, while others may focus more on prayer, charity, or community service. In conversation with Tanzin he mentioned that for him one aspect of Ramadan is that it offered a ‘break in the chain’, an opportunity to pause, reflect and reset. That I’m sure resonates for many of us, in a world typified by constant distractions and noise, Ramadan offers a sanctuary, inviting us to slow down, reflect and reconnect with ourselves and each other, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all.

When asked to write this short piece I must admit to feeling very nervous, I worried my knowledge of subject was woefully inadequate, and so I immediately conspired to offer Tanzin a smorgasbord of refreshment to educate me… not a strong start. But, the longer we spoke the clearer it became that the spirit of Ramadan is one we can all embrace, be it time to reset or the opportunity to build on our inclusive community, where diversity and differences are embraced as sources of strength and richness.”

Celebrate together in Carnival House on Wednesday 17 April

Ramadan ends with a festival of celebrations called Eid al-Fitr which, based on the sighting of the moon, falls today. Following a donation to charity (Fitr) and morning prayers, families and friends will get together throughout the day, dressed in their finest, and share delicious food, decorate their homes and exchange Eid presents. Muslims will great each other with ‘Eid Mubarak’ which means ‘blessed Eid’.

To mark this special occasion, on Wednesday 17 April REACH is inviting everyone to join in the celebrations by bringing in snacks and sweet treats to share and have lunch together. The team from REACH will be in the Atrium from 12:00 to 13:00 and everyone is welcome to join, so come along and let’s celebrate together!

What’s more, we’ll have an ice cream van outside the front of Carnival House from 14:00 to 15:30 giving free ice creams (vegan and gluten free options available) to the first 150 colleagues who visit. After this, they will be chargeable. Please be mindful to not all rush at once, avoid queuing and keep Reception and all doorways/turnstiles clear.  

Congratulations to our Ramadan prize draw winners
Thanks to everyone who got involved and shared their good deeds, acts of kindness and gratitude statements, for a chance to win a Ramadan goody bag. We’re pleased to announce our winners are…

  • Em North: “For Comic Relief, our family has a little ‘Red Nose Party’ where we watch the show, donate, wear red, and have themed snacks, etc. My gratitude statement for the day is “I am compassionate towards myself and others” which feels very appropriate!”
  • Victoria Goodchild: “Once a month I volunteer driving our local minibus to take the elderly to their weekly lunch club.”
  • Katie Peterson: “I run an Instagram page for expectant mums/new mums so they can get fourth trimester information from my own experience – to leave mums/carers feeling less alone and more informed!”
  • Amy Willard: “My gratitude is – thank you for opening up opportunities to learn about Islam. My fiancé’s family is Muslim and, especially around Ramadan, I wanted to understand their faith more.”

Congratulations all! A member of the REACH team will be in touch soon to give you your goody bags.

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