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Did you know that 2022 marks the 10th year that Raising Explorers has been in service? That’s right! Since the centre first opened its doors in 2012, we have been catering to the Bradford Community for an entire decade now! For an organisation to reach its 10th birthday is a huge, impressive milestone. Within these past few years, Raising Explorers has achieved many great things, however, the journey to reaching this point hasn’t always been easy.

Raising Explorers began with only one classroom during mid-2012 with just 5-10 children and 6 incredible volunteer staff who worked hard during the first month of opening to get the centre running until their wages could be paid for. It took up to six months later when the centre could finally afford to expand to four more rooms plus an office. This is a huge contrast to the two floors Raising Explorers now occupy – consisting of more than 15 classrooms, 2 offices, a sports hall, a game-zone, a Westbourne site and 60+ staff members! Not only that but additional rooms are always being added due to our constantly increasing number of students.

It’s amazing to look back and see how much Raising Explorers has grown since our initial start-up in both size and the number of services that we provide as well as their quality. Recently, the centre even experienced its first full graduate, Hamza Istikhar. Hamza joined us at the young age of 5 and continued to attend Raising Explorers for ten years until the age of 15! From now on, we expect to see many of our first students begin to graduate as their ten-year journey at the centre comes to an end.

Everything we have achieved so far would have never been possible without the support of our staff, partnerships, but most importantly, the parents and children that give Raising Explorers a purpose and fill the centre with warmth. Which is why we wanted to celebrate our anniversary with absolutely everyone through fun events!

On Friday 14th October, the RE team organised an anniversary tea party for the entire Bradford community, especially our staff members, parents and children. Everyone was invited to come in to the centre to enjoy tea and cake whilst simply relaxing and having a stress-free time. Cakes, custard, samosa chaat, pink tea and so much more was served from 5:00pm until 7:00pm. We were glad to see so many of you attend our tea party and enjoy yourselves!

Another larger event that was organised in honour of our 10th anniversary took place on Friday 11th November at Connaught Room, Manningham Lane. The ‘10th Year Celebration Evening’ was held in partnership with Penny Appeal – a charity that is building homes and shelters in Pakistan for those who lost their livelihood in the floods. All attendees were provided with a 3-course meal, chocolate fountains, candyfloss and a 360 photobooth to name a few things. Abdullah Afzal, who played Amjad in the hit show ‘Citizen Khan’, made an appearance to provide the audience with comedy and laughter for the evening and Penny Appeal’s own Ismail Hussain blessed the crowd with his amazing voice by singing various nasheeds.

But, of course, the biggest show of the evening was brought to all our lovely families and staff by the Raising Explorer’s very own children themselves! Many of our explorers sang with their extraordinary voices, did a mixture of nasheeds and qiraat of surahs that they had memorised and spoke about their own personal experiences at the centre.

The evening of our 10th anniversary ended with a powerful speech by Penny Appeal regarding the floods that have caused chaos and destruction in Pakistan and that have led many people to lose the one thing most valuable to them – their homes. Penny Appeal have been on the ground in Pakistan, working hard to build as many homes and shelters as possible. Our parents and staff were encouraged to donate whatever they can towards the flood emergency and we are proud to say that on the day of our event, we raised an incredible total of £18,000! Our sincere thank you is with all those who donated. May Allah reward you abundantly for your kindness and generosity. Ameen.

We had an incredible time meeting all of you last Friday and celebrating a decade of Raising Explorers together. We hope you enjoyed the event and had as much fun as we did! At Raising Explorers, we believe in continuously improving ourselves and never stopping. Although ten years may have come to an end, this is still just the beginning for our centre as we tread on the path of staying besides the future generation and supporting them. We hope you watch us grow and also stay by us for many years to come.

Before you leave, take a look at these fun videos taken by the 360 photoshoot!

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