SOUTHEND’S Muslim community has joined the Echo’s battle to keep blood testing services local.

The Faizane Madina mosque in Milton Road gathered more than 100 signatures in just an hour after Friday prayers last week.

Ibrar Azam, 44, from Southend in chairman of the mosque. He said: “We did well to collect so many signatures. We hope to do the same at the other two Southend mosques.

“We are backing the campaign because we are going to have to wait for test results much longer than we do at the moment. We can’t understand the policy to transfer it so far away, particularly as they will go first to Harlow and then to Bedford.

“What if something happens on the way? There could be all sorts of problems.”