Coronavirus: Bedford faith group delivers 100 daily meals to NHS staff

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image copyrightChiara Mac Call
image captionMore than 800 meals have been made in just over a week

A faith group has said it will deliver hundreds of meals to ambulance staff every day for as "long as it takes" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha group in Bedford has been making 100 daily meals since 2 April.

A combination of vegetarian curries are being sent to staff working for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) in Bedford and Kempston.

Group president Jaswinder Kumar said: "It's our duty to give something back."

image copyrightSGRS
image captionThe food is paid for by the religious charity and donations

Every day at its community centre in Guru Ravidass Lane, three volunteers make the food, which is then transported out.

Mr Kumar, who also works full-time as a postman, said: "The ambulance service are very busy. They never get a chance to order food, due to long shifts and are not eating properly.

"We are trying our best with what we can; it is our duty to be able to give something back.

"We are confident we can carry on, for as long as it takes. We are happy to do it."

image copyrightChiara Mac Call
image captionJaswinder Kumar delivering food to ambulance workers in Bedford and Kempston after finishing his shift as a postman

Every Tuesday it donates 30 hot meals to staff at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, as well as delivering help to vulnerable and self-isolating people in Bedford and surrounding areas.

Emma Freda, from Healthwatch Bedford Borough, said it put the "amazing" group in touch with the EEAST as it was desperate to help.

"This is an excellent example of a wonderful collaboration from a local faith community offering emergency assistance to frontline staff during these unprecedented times," she said.

image copyrightChiara Mac Call
image captionSamosas, naans and vegetarian curries are being made every day

Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer for EEAST, said it was getting "wonderful support at this difficult time".

"We've seen many stories around the region of notes of appreciation and even small gifts being left on ambulance windscreens," he said.

Local and national businesses were "doing a great job" in helping its staff, he added.

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