A community group is launching a free hot curry service for vulnerable people in Bedford.
The Bedford Langar Project will launch its first curry night this Sunday, April 6 at 6pm in Church Square.
The service is run by volunteers from the Akaal Seva group which aims to improve the quality of life for Bedford people.
The town’s Sikh community is supporting the project. The group is working in partnership with Bedford’s three gurdwaras, and housing charity Bedfordshire Housing Link.
The Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Queen’s Park, Ramgarhia Gurdwara, Ampthill Road and Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, Kempston, are taking food donations, making the vegetarian curries and providing storage facilities.
Ravi Gill, 36, Akaal Seva member from Bedford, said: “I do a lot of volunteering with the homeless of Bedfordshire anyway; I’d been talking to them for a while. They love curry, absolutely love curry but they don’t really get it.”
Ravi said the project is a combination of the Sikh concept of seva – selfless service aimed at improving the community – and a soup run.
He added: “The people who need food get a warm meal; families who can’t afford to have a night out, or people, those that are vulnerable, who want a takeaway can come and we can give them a takeaway.”
Bedfordshire Housing Link will provide drinks and The Night Owl bus with a kitchen facility for the day; langar is the Sikh term for kitchen.
The charity provides supported accommodation for single homeless and other vulnerable people. They also provide education and training services.
Janet Prince, chief executive of Bedfordshire Housing Link, said homelessness in Bedford is increasing, and added: “We’re doing the best that we can to support individuals, because we have accommodation, we support single homeless people to work towards independence – that’s where the Langar Project came on board with us, because their aim is the same.”
Janet said the Bedford Langar Project and Bedfordshire Housing Link have similar aims and added: “We’re all doing a wonderful job – there are so many people in need out there, not just single but families – all sorts.” Call the Bedford Langar Project on 07539 319987. For Bedfordshire Housing Link visit www.bhlonline.co.uk