A non-Muslim couple from Manchester are fasting for the month of Ramadan to raise money for charity.

Tracy and Marisa Lancaster decided to fast during the month of Ramadan in a bid to raise money through Unicef UK for vulnerable children and families who suffer from poverty.

The couple's actions were further fulled by the Manchester arena attack.

Speaking to Asian Image Marisa, aged 30, who is disabled, said, "Are we Muslim? Nope. But what better way to highlight the issue of starvation than a fast.

"I suppose one of the main deciding factors were the atrocities in Manchester done in the name of Islam. 

"The terrorist was not a Muslim in my eyes. 

"My personal experience of the Muslim culture and my Muslim friend's response to the attack is that man was no more a Muslim than he was a peace keeper.

"I want to stand with our Muslim friends and neighbors in a time when one man's actions backed by a tiny minority of sick individuals has made them a target of hate and abuse.

"I have witnessed first hand the backlash in Manchester with peaceable innocent people who have been bullied harassed and beaten in their own town for something they despise just as much as you or me. 

"So during the holy month of Ramadan we hope to learn more about a religion that is under such scrutiny and experience a little of what it feels like to be a Muslim in Manchester at this awful time in our history."

Asian Image:

Marissa said, "We also want to experience what hunger really is and to use this as a reminder that there are people that experience this around the world indefinitely not just for one month.

"We want to remember that despite being by no means 'rich' in terms of our bank accounts we are lucky beyond some people's wildest dreams.

"We have food, shelter, free health care, religious freedom, education, electricity, clean running water, and most of all each other."

Marisa married former teacher Tracy, aged 55 in 2015. 

Tracy explained what the fasting will entail for the couple. She said, "We have learnt so much from fasting and we are humbled by the support we have received from the Muslim community.

"We started this fund to raise money for the children all around the world who don't have enough to eat and the mothers and carers who have to watch as their children are starving.

"We will be observing a complete fast from the first morning prayer time (suhoor) to iftar which is when the fast is broken.

"That means no food, no water or other drinks, no smoking, no tablets, no sexual acts, not even a stick of gum. 

"But contrary to popular belief we can still shower, bath or swim.

"We are not going to pray as we are not Muslim but we are going to take the time out of our day to be mindful of how we are feeling and why we are doing what we are doing." 

To find out more or to make a donation click here