MORE than 50 young Muslim worshippers started their new year by helping clean up Halesowen streets.

A team of youngsters from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, which is based at Baitul Ghafoor Mosque on Long Lane, were up at the crack of dawn litter picking at 8am on New Year's Day (Sunday January 1).

Hasan Jamal, youth leader for Halesowen and Dudley, said: "Our members have enjoyed living in the borough for decades and so any opportunity to help our local community is a much welcomed one.

“Littering costs the UK an estimated £660million a year.

"While the Government and local authorities are doing a great deal to address this issue, we feel strongly that it is our religious and civic duty to also act.

"Cleaning the streets of Halesowen also presents us with an opportunity to become better Muslims as cleanliness is an integral part of our faith.

"Giving up a couple of hours can make a huge difference.

"We are a peace-loving and well-organised association which will continue to help make this great part of England an even better place to live in."

The initiative has now become an annual tradition for Young Muslims of Britain’s largest organised Muslim community.

As part of the ‘Mercy for Mankind’ campaign, AMYA will be organising various community projects including street cleaning, tree planting, fundraising initiatives, blood donations and various other projects throughout the year.