Serious Safeguarding Concerns relating to Salma Foodbank
Muslim Women's Network UK has received serious safeguarding concerns about Salma Foodbank. Given the nature of allegations, the scale of the foodbank's operations and the number of individuals, third sector organisations and front line professionals that appear to be recommending vulnerable clients to Salma Foodbank, we feel it is the duty of Muslim Women's Network UK to publicly share the letter that we have written detailing the allegations to Mr. Imran Hameed of Salma Foodbank.
Please let us know or the West Midlands Police know if you would also like to report any concerns.
We appreciate the allegations are not yet proven and hope that Salma Foodbank will assist us and the police to come to a conclusion in respect of these concerns. We will provide updates as and when further information is provided.
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 236 9000.
17/09/20 - On 17th September 2020 we received a letter from MH Solicitors LLP (sent us to by email on 17th September 2020 but dated 14th September 2020) on behalf of Imran Hameed, entitled 'Defamation Claim Against Our Client Mr. Imran Hameed, Salma Foodbank'. We do not consider there to be a valid defamation claim against us.
7/10/2020 - On 7th October 2020, a response was sent to MH Solicitors LLP on behalf of MWNUK by our insurers. Neither we nor our insurers have not had any further contact from Mr Imran Hameed, Salma Foodbank or MH Solicitors LLP since this date. However we would like to take this opportunity to clarify the following points:
• In our letter dated 20th November 2020 we stated that Imran Hameed refers to himself as a director of Salma Foodbank. Whilst it is our opinion that our comments of 20th November 2020 were accurate at the time of writing, we wish to clarify that Mr Imran Hameed does not refer to himself as the director of Salma Foodbank and rather refers to himself as the founder of Salma Foodbank.
• In our letter dated 20th November 2020 we also stated that we referred our service user to Salma Foodbank. However, on review, we note that we did not directly refer our service user to Salma Foodbank but rather, we provided her with the contact details for Salma Foodbank and our service user then used the information provided by us to make contact with Salma Foodbank to obtain assistance.
27/01/2020 - It has been brought to our attention that a letter from MH Solicitors LLP to Mr Imran Hameed, dated 20th October 2020, has been circulated on social media with the following comments:
"Bearded Broz - I would like to thank you all that stood by me in the
time of need, #slander is a massive issue, where people think it’s right
to take to social media without proof and talk rubbish, becoming judge,
jury and executioners. #BeardedBroz our Solictors letter
MWNUK wish to take this opportunity to confirm that MWNUK have not made any apology to Mr Imran Hameed, that our insurers have responded to MH Solicitors LLP in respect of their letter dated 14th September 2020 and neither MWNUK nor our insurers have heard anything further, and as far as we are aware, no litigation proceedings have been commenced against MWNUK by Mr Imran Hameed. We will update our website in the event that the situation changes.
20/11/18 (20.55) - We have received an initial response from Mr Hameed who states that he cannot see any referrals made to Salma Foodbank by MWNUK and will be seeking legal advice. We will provide any further updates as and when it is received.
28/11/2018 (17.04) - We have received what appears to be a full and final response from Mr Hameed who states the following:
"Every allegation you have stated is untrue and fabricated, we cannot go into detail with you of any facts or share evidence with you, under the data protection act, as you do not state the person's name making the claim.
However I can assure you of the following points which you raise
Mr Hameed then states that he will be making complaints to MWNUK's board, the Charity Commission and our funders and also mentions that he invites any inquiry from the police or Environmental Health.
We have responded to Mr Hameed on 30th November 2018 by way of a further letter, an extract of which has been made available below:
Dear Mr Hameed,
Thank you for your email below which we take to be your full and final response to our detailed six page letter dated 20th November 2018. Admittedly we are quite surprised by your very short response as we presumed from your emails of 20th and 21st November 2018 that we would be provided with detailed information and/or explanations which would allay our concerns. Quite frankly, we are not entirely sure why it has taken over a week to provide this response as surely this could have been stated a week ago?
We note your reliance upon the Data Protection Act 1998 on the basis that we have not disclosed our service userâ€™s name. You may be aware that the General Data Protection Regulations came into force earlier this year and our reasons for not disclosing our service userâ€™s personal details in writing is based on the same data protection principles you seek to reply upon as well as, most importantly, our concerns over our service userâ€™s safety. Irrespective of this however, given we have only ever referred one service user to you (and this service user informed you that MWNUK are assisting in their case â€“ a particular traumatic case at that which cannot be forgotten), we would have presumed that it was quite obvious who we are referring to?
More importantly, whether or not you are able to identify the individual who has made the allegations does not in our opinion impact on your ability to provide us with replies to the concerns raised. For your ease we now list all the outstanding issues and/or allegations in the form of direct questions, as follows:
Finally, we have made clear from the outset and reiterate again that we completely appreciate that the matters we raise are based on allegations, are dependent upon our service userâ€™s opinion of the situation and are not proven facts. We had hoped that you would understand that a responsible charity like ours, which works tirelessly to eradicate all forms of discrimination and abuse would feel obligated to raise our concerns with you and others (including the police and other potential service users and/or beneficiaries), especially in light of the global #metoo movement (which has highlighted how abuse is prevalent even in the not-for-profit sector), and had hoped you would cooperate and assist us in this regard. We are not attempting to become â€˜judge, jury and executionerâ€™ and never will as we are firm believers of the rule of law in the UK - but we do not think it is acceptable to be silent bystanders either in the face of potential harm being caused (though again we reiterate that we are not accusing you of the same, but rather raising the complaints that have been brought to our attention). According to media reports Salma Foodbank was set up in 2016 and before the end of 2017 you had provided food to over 7000 people; whilst this is of course very noble (we are not blind to the plight of many individuals and families due rising austerity and increasing cuts) but on the other hand that means that a very large number of potentially vulnerable individuals will be coming into contact with you and/or your volunteers on a daily basis. Thus taking this information into account and the serious nature of the allegations, we felt it was our duty to raise our concerns immediately.
You will note that we have provided you with every opportunity to share with us any information to correct any inaccuracies in our understanding of what has happened and further, have consistently offered to make your responses available in the same manner as our letter. In fact we only shared our letter on our website after we were sure you had received our letter and also updated our website with details of your email response of 20th November 2018 immediately in the interests of being balanced and fair to you. We are disappointed that you have not considered the context and the reasoning behind our decision to share our concerns; it does make us wonder whether you truly appreciate the seriousness of such cases of abuse that are coming to light each day across all sectors and which may have even affected some of your beneficiaries?
You are more than welcome to make complaints to our board, the Charity Commission and our funders. The following information may be of assistance in making your complaint(s):
Jess Phillips MP
MWNUK is courageous because of the uncompromising and fearless positions it sometimes takes when calling out injustice and inequality
I am proud to support and champion this fantastic organisation, which is informing policy and transforming lives.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
MWNUKâ€™s authenticity comes from knowledge of lived experiences of Muslim women and girls acquired through their helpline, research and members.
Naz Shah MP
They work tirelessly with passion and commitment to make a difference and improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable women and girls in society.
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimiu
Lawyer, Political & Women's Rights Activist
There is no greater time than now for the voices, representation and power of Muslim women to be visible in the feminist movement and all walks of life. MWNUK is a vital force in delivering this much needed balance and representation.