Islamic Relief: Former Highgate pupils raising money by delivering cakes for Ramadan

Tasneem Allam (centre) with a team of Islamic Relief volunteers. Picture: Tasneem Allam

Tasneem Allam (centre) with a team of Islamic Relief volunteers. Picture: Tasneem Allam - Credit: Archant

Former Parliament Hill School pupil Tasneem Allam has spent Ramadan devoting every spare moment of her weekend ferrying chocolate fudge cake around north London to raise money for Islamic Relief.

So Eid this year has perhaps come as more of a relief to her than most.

With brother Sadiq, who also grew up in Highgate, she has been co-ordinating the charity's cake operation across north London - and if you do the maths she could have helped raise up to £10,000 for the charity's Syrian aid operation.

Tasneem, 31, told this newspaper: "We've been getting involved with this for a few years now, and the cake campaign is just a great way of volunteering.

"It's daunting when you first go into it, but it brings the community together."

Tasneem and Sadiq have been spending their Saturdays dealing with orders - families can reserve cakes using an online system - and Sundays co-ordinating drivers taking the cake across north London.

"When you get to deliver a cake, the people are just very very grateful. It's really heartwarming.

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"We first started with a collection point in east London, but the operation has expanded so much we run our own collection point from north London now.

"We grew up around Highgate and Kentish Town, and over the last few weeks it's been nostalgic for us to be delivering to some of the streets we grew up on.

"Generally, it's so important to work out the routes beforehand, but that's quite fun.

"We can be delivering even 80 cakes in a day!"

The cakes are meant to be an exciting part of the iftar - the meal that breaks the fast each sunset - for observant families during Ramadan.

Tasneem, who said the bakers' identities are closely-guarded secrets, can herself testify to the cake's taste.

She said: "We've had a couple, they're lovely!"

With the cake campaign - launched in Bradford seven years ago as Cakes4Syria - aiming to add to the £278million worth of aid sent to the middle-east - Tasneem reckons the north London operation could contribute a huge amount.

"We've delivered 200 cakes a week. Over the four weeks of Ramadan that's 1,000 cakes for £10 each - as an estimate, £10,000."