DofE volunteer Naomi Chowdhry helping one of our regular visitors receive some food.
We have had a very difficult period trying to run our homeless centre while our main volunteer Rajeshri Chouhan has been off recovering from a very severe bout of COVID-19.
Rajeshri had been double vaccinated but was hit hard by the virus after spending time with her sister for Christmas.
Juliet Chowdhry had to manage the centre on her own for a while, but her daughter Naomi Chowdhry has been helping on some days, as she works towards her bronze award for the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme. We have also been helped by Shadrack a student from a local secondary school who has been helping while he is also going through the bronze award and will joined by a further student next week.
Working at our Meals for the Homeless project is very popular for local students especially those going through awards programmes. Every student who has worked at our centre has gone on to complete their awards programmes so far, and they have all spoken of how rewarding the volunteer experience was.
The venue we use at Clementswood Community Centre was started over 10 years ago and is well known locally. Though no longer under British Asian Christian Association’s control we have free access three days a week to continue providing our meals service.
Our Meals for the Homeless Project was one of only few support groups in Redbridge during the first and most difficult lockdown. Over 65 people visited us two times a day at a time when homeless and economically deprived families found it most hard to get food on their plates. Our work even featured in a BBC News report due to Hannah Chowdhry who founded and led the early project:
You can learn more about the meals for the homeless project in our review (here)