A self-confessed chatterbox has managed to keep schtum for an entire 48 hours in a sponsored silence for a local homeless charity.
Omara Ashraf, a probation worker from Shirley, couldn’t talk, text, Tweet, call, email or use Facebook for an entire weekend, from 9am on Saturday, May 17, until 9am on Monday, May 19.
“I decided to do a sponsored silence because I am always talking – sometimes even to myself,” explained the 31-year-old who lives with husband Hassan.
“I’ve always been really chatty but doing this challenge made me aware of how unconsciously you say things.
“Whether it was talking to my cat, or when I walked into a bed post. On Saturday, I went to a supermarket and not being able to apologise if I knocked into someone else’s trolley was really difficult.
“Anyone who knows me knows how difficult this was, there were times I thought ‘this is killing me.’
“In terms of fundraising, it’s not a big physical thing, I’ve not gone and run a marathon, but for me it was a real test of my commitment. I just thought I can and will do this.”
Omara said she had received lots of calls and texts over the weekend from mischievous friends and family but had not given into temptation, until the 48 hours finally ended.
“I remember at 9am on Monday I actually couldn’t stop laughing and screaming down the phone to my husband,” said the chatterbox who admitted her husband had “definitely enjoyed the quiet”.
The challenge raised an impressive £750 for homeless charity Socks and Chocs, which was set up by West Midlands Police officer Ian Northcott, known as the ‘busking bobby’, in 2010 to provide practical donations such as sleeping bags, socks and food.
Omara’s sponsored silence has allowed her to buy 125 sleeping bags that went directly to homeless centres across the Midlands.
“I’m really quite overwhelmed and humbled how supportive everyone had been,” added Omara who also runs The Big Little Cake Company. “It has been absolutely phenomenal.
“My husband and I have definitely got the charity bug now.”
* For more information on the charity visit www.socksandchocs.co.uk