Mo, Ali and Huri Patel are among those to star in the club’s season card promotional video ahead of the 2021/22 season who have an association with Preston North End Community and Education Trust – as Mo volunteered through Preston United to support the Trust's recent Ramadan project, with his grandma Huri and granddad Ali benefitting from the initiative.
Preston North End Community and Education Trust is the club's official charity (no. 1130773), working in the areas of Community Engagement, Education and Health and Wellbeing, and engaging with more than 13,000 individuals during 2020.
Meanwhile, Preston United is a youth development programme supporting young people in Preston, with Mo’s involvement in the group seeing him attend his first match at Deepdale as a five-year-old, leading to his dedicated and passionate support for the club ever since.
More recently, Mo’s volunteering role with Preston United saw him become involved with Preston North End Community and Education Trust – as the two organisations worked in collaboration, alongside other external partners, to support the local Muslim community with Iftar pack deliveries throughout the month of Ramadan.
Mo was one of several dedicated volunteers from Preston United to support the Ramadan project – whether by manning one of the two 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, having recently volunteered on other projects run by the 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.
“Since a young age, I have been with Preston United, and over the years I have volunteered on various projects, covering a wide range of courses and activities,” said Mo.
“My first game [at Deepdale] was actually with Preston United. We received tickets as part of a Kick It Out campaign at the age of five. I came with Preston United on that day; they were giving out Kick It Out t-shirts and we just felt welcome coming in.
“From there, I just fell in love with Preston North End and enjoyed the matchday experience of watching live football.
“We kept coming on a regular basis. I just enjoyed watching live football, got a North End top, started going to away games and met friends. I’ve never really looked back since.
“I would like to share my experience with more people coming at a young age, and hopefully more from the Deepdale area. Hopefully we can invite them in and make them feel welcomed at Preston North End.”
After first attending with Preston United and then with his school class, Mo persuaded his brother to start coming to Deepdale – and it’s been a way of life for them both ever since!
And his involvement with the Trust has only heightened his feeling of pride to be a Preston North End fan, seeing their work up close both out on the Ramadan programme and on various other projects as well.
“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’ve realised with PNE from an early stage.
“You don’t see many other clubs having an occasion like Gentry Day, remembering all those that have passed away. It’s just that sense of belonging at the club that I felt from an early stage and it’s made me feel proud to be a North End fan.”
Following the release of the season card campaign, Mo has officially joined the Trust as Community Engagement Officer, alongside studying a degree in Football Business and Marketing.
Alongside its Ramadan initiative, the Trust has also worked in the Deepdale area through its Community Engagement strand throughout the year.
A February half-term initiative saw the Trust deliver food hampers that contained culturally appropriate goods to local residents, while the Communities United programme welcomed people from all backgrounds, running in partnership with the Deepdale Community Association.
“Working in the community side, you see that the club does so much off the pitch,” Mo continued. “There’s so much that the club do behind the scenes in the community.
“It’s been a great insight into what actually happens in the Community and Education Trust and the good work everyone is doing within it.”
For more information about the Trust’s work and its various programmes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.