Tens of thousands of pounds for relief work with refugees and victims of the bloody conflict in Syria have been raised through a cake delivery service run by Muslim volunteers.

The Cakes4Syria appeal during the Muslim month of fasting, or Ramadan, has delivered more than 5,000 cakes so far and aims to deliver many more during the remaining three weeks of the fast, organisers said.

The campaign has raised more than £26,000 for Islamic Relief's Syria appeal, distributing food and medicines inside Syria and helping refugees from the conflict who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

The scheme was launched in Bradford, West Yorkshire, last year by 23-year-old Islamic Relief volunteer Sibbat e Noor, a trainee solicitor from the city. It was launched as a national fundraising drive this Ramadan in response to mounting concerns about the deteriorating situation in Syria.

The appeal comes after British imams, or Muslim leaders, called last week on British Muslims not to travel to Syria and Iraq amid ongoing fears of jihadis fleeing the country to take part in terrorism.

An open letter signed by more than 100 imams urged British Muslim communities "to continue the generous and tireless effort to support all of those affected by the crisis in Syria and unfolding events in Iraq", but to do so "from the UK in a safe and responsible way".

Islamic Relief said the cake appeal was open to people of all faiths or none.

Zia Salik, the charity's community fundraising and volunteer manager, said: "This is an idea that came from the grassroots, from our volunteers, and the response has been just fantastic.

"Our team of volunteers has already delivered thousands of cakes, with thousands more still to be sent out. We're well on the way to smashing our fundraising goals for Cakes4Syria this year, which means more money going to support Syrians who are in huge need."