An organisation that feeds families and individuals most in need in Bradford has been awarded the highest honour for voluntary services in the UK.
Bradford Community Kitchen, founded by businessman Abdul Satar, has been named as a recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Each year, outstanding examples of voluntary organisations and groups are celebrated through the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). Created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, QAVS awards have been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups for many years.
Equivalent to an MBE, QAVS are the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.
Bradford Community Kitchen is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year and one of thirteen from West Yorkshire.
Founded in 2017, volunteers from Bradford Community Kitchen began serving hot food, drinks and pudding to people in need. In 2018, the organisation successfully registered as a charity.
The organisation currently does not receive any Government or local authority funding and run solely on donations from the local community, friends and colleagues. The organisation’s official partner is Regal Foods PL and affiliate partners include Office Interiors, Gotyasize fighting fit, Let’s Talk Phones, the Sweet Centre, Pakistan Catering, Kamrans Solicitors, Good and Co Solicitors, Sunrise Catering, Rajas and Manjaros.
When Britain went into lockdown in March of 2020 because of Covid-19, the community kitchen pivoted to handing out food parcels to individuals and families in need. The organisation also provides emotional and practical support, sleeping bags, boots, clothes, and sanitary products to people in need when they can.
Mr Satar, who is the founder and managing director of Office Furniture Yorkshire, fits the charity work around his full-time job, often fitting food parcel drop-offs around his furniture delivery schedule.
He said: “I’m incredibly grateful that Her Majesty has recognised our hard work, the trustees, the volunteers, and the sponsors that have been supporting us since 2017.
“Initially, we set up in 2017 but when the pandemic struck, we had to stop serving food from our kitchen and so, we opened a food bank where we deliver to people’s homes. We’ve been working with different groups, including a domestic violence agency, Bradford Doulas, Incommunities, Early start, Lynfield mount mental health hospital and many others.”
The community kitchen delivers up to 100 food parcels a week and over the last two years, has delivered around 40,000 to people in need in the community.
Mr Satar added: “At Office Furniture Yorkshire, we do between ten to fifteen deliveries a day. I have the food boxes on the road with me, so when we get referrals, I deliver the food whilst I’m working.
“Due to the number of food parcels, we deliver, a lot of people now come to collect their boxes from our food bank. We also help people in need furnish their homes, providing cutlery and bedding when we can.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping people. The people in Bradford are very generous, we always help each other when we can, from our sponsors to the people in the community. I want to say thank you to the companies that work with us, our trustees and volunteers, all of whom do amazing work.”
Mr Satar, on behalf of Bradford Community Kitchen, will receive the award crystal and certificate from Ed Anderson, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from the organisation will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023 along with other recipients of this year’s Award.