For over two years British Asian Christian Association have been providing free meals for homeless people, the economically deprived and refugees and asylum-seekers.
We can serve up to 40 people a day and with the help of partner groups such as Westminster Drug Project we are even able to provide free counselling. The NHS also occasionally undertake Hepatology tests at our centre.
This month we have begun to see a rise in the number of visitors to our centre, which now includes members of new migrants from the Afghan and Ukrainian refugees communities.
We are still collecting donations of clothes and other items to support our visitors and our support includes access to free use of washing machines and provision of washing powder. Through the winter we had some breakfast mornings and served some warm porridge and cereals to power our beneficiaries through the colder months.
Sadly last week, Juliet Chowdhry who runs the centre with daughter Hannah Chowdhry, was not able to cook meals for one of the days designated for her to prepare meals. Fortunately, we are so popular and well known in Ilford we can walk into most local restaurants and take-aways and get help. Two businesses near our homeless meals centre: Wattani Box an Afghan restaurant and Sushi Roll, a sushi and Japanese noodle bar came to the rescue and prepared 20 meals each. We would like to thank them profusely for their efforts.
PRAYER REQUEST: Juliet sustained a broken right arm in 2019 during a BACA youth trip to Barking Abbey. She has had two operations on her arm since but still suffer pain and a loss of mobility in her right arm. Juliet has been to two further doctors and has received two completely different diagnoses. One doctor believes she still has a chip in her elbow from the dislocation and broken bone from the 2019 accident, the other has said despite of or perhaps because of her earlier treatments she may have a deformed bone. Juliet is seeing an elbow specialist next month and has asked for your prayers for a correct diagnosis and further treatment to help improve her arm.
We hope to do more at the centre but our food collections and deliveries requires a lot of fuel. We need an electric vehicle to make this work more viable for the future and encourage our supporters to help us raise the finance to make this happen. Our current petrol vehicle is over 15 years old and only just passed a recent MOT after a repair to the exhaust. If you can help us get an electric vehicle please donate (here).
The venue we use for our Meals for the Homeless Project is Clementswood Community Centre which was started by us 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)