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Monday, June 27, 2022

Khidmat Centres and Muslim Women’s Council to dish out Christmas dinners

The organisations are opting to deliver the Christmas meals to people for a second year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Two organisations are delivering Christmas dinners to people in their homes this Christmas.

The Khidmat Centres and the Muslim Women’s Council, both based in Bradford, are delivering Christmas dinner to the elderly and people who might otherwise struggle to feed themselves on Christmas Day.

The Khidmat Centres are celebrating their tenth year of delivering Christmas meals to the community. They usually host the lunch at their centre on Spencer Road in BD7, but due to Covid-19 restrictions last year, they opted to deliver the meals instead.

Sofia Buncy and Nagina from The Khidmat Centres.

Due to rising cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, the Khidmat Centre has made the hard decision to not host the dinner in person and are delivering Christmas dinners to the elderly in their homes instead.

In the days leading up to Christmas, they donate thirty to forty hampers to refugee families through BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network) and Refugee Action.

The Christmas hampers contain all the traditional trimmings, except for swapping turkey for chicken and sausages, and sometimes swapping Brussel sprouts for lentils, something that is more suitable to refugee families’ food palate.

Sofia Buncy, the national coordinator for the Khidmat Centres said: “We’ve made the difficult decision to give out our annual Christmas Dinners through an at-home delivery service as we did last year.

“We know that people are experiencing loneliness within Bradford District, but we have to be safe, which is why we will be delivering the meals to people in their homes. We make sure that all our volunteers wear a Christmas jumper and hat and sing Christmas carols when delivering the meals.”

The Khidmat Centres’ at-home Christmas meal.

A few days before Christmas, Ms Buncy and a small cohort of volunteers go to a local supermarket to purchase vegetables and other things needed to make the meals. It is then given over to the team at MyLahore Restaurant who cook the traditional dinner.

Last year, they also purchased gifts for people to brighten up their spirits for the festive season.

Ms Buncy, who does a lot of work promoting interfaith and youth and community work, added: “Christmas is a time for families to get together and gather as a community. Christmas is a time where people show compassion and kindness. Our volunteers give up all of their day to help others, as we start at 9am and finish at around 5pm. We make sure that they have eaten before they go home.”

Ms Buncy hopes to involve the young people from the Khidmat Centre’s Young in a Covid-19 documentary to help pack the hampers that will be distributed. “We want to promote social responsibility which is why I want to involve them in the projects around Christmas so that they can get an understanding of how other people in the community live.”

Established in 2013 as a project through the Muslim Women’s Council, the Curry Club feeds an average of 100 homeless individuals a week. Managed and run by volunteers, the club partners with MyLahore, Tesco, secondary schools, and members of the public to deliver the free food to people who need it in the community.

Volunteers handed the meals out to the elderly on Christmas Day.

The Curry Club usually put on a Christmas party which includes a two-course meal cooked by MyLahore and live entertainment for their guests. Due to the ongoing pandemic, they have chosen to deliver meals to people’s homes for a second year, instead of postponing or cancelling the annual do.

Saadia Mushtaq, office manager for Muslim Women’s Council said: “Normally there would be a sit-down meal and a party but since last year we have changed it to a takeout meal. We are expecting to give out around 100 to 150 meals this Christmas since the numbers seem to be increasing.

“Normally for Christmas, we would put on a traditional spread with turkey and all the trimmings but because we are giving out takeout meals, we are sticking to what we give out every week, which is curry, rice, and naan.”

To book a free home delivery meal from the Khidmat Centres, please contact Sofia or Nagina on 01274521792 or at info@khidmatcentre.org.uk.

For more information on the Curry Circle, please contact the Muslim Women’s Council on 01274 223 320 or directorsoffice@muslimwomenscouncil.org.uk/.

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