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Romford shopkeepers do their bit for the homeless by launching soup kitchen

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2018

Peter Singh and Dolly Kaur. Pic: MELISSA PAGE

Peter Singh and Dolly Kaur. Pic: MELISSA PAGE

Archant

A kind-hearted shopkeeping couple is launching a soup kitchen to help the homeless.

Peter Singh and Dolly Kaur. Pic: MELISSA PAGEPeter Singh and Dolly Kaur. Pic: MELISSA PAGE

Husband and wife Peter Singh and Dolly Kaur of family firm PNKS Essex Casuals in Brentwood Road, Romford, regularly donated at a temple in Southend-on-Sea and because of their Sikh faith give 10 per cent of their earnings away.

But the generous pair didn’t always see the good causes their money went towards.

So they decided to start Homeless Eats using a souped up trailer to dish up donated fresh Indian food including samosas and chapatis to those most in need.

Peter said: “We’re not showing off. We’ve got no ego. We’re helping others. We just want to do something. It would be such a buzz for us.”

And according to the 38-year-old, businesses including CentreForce 88.3 Radio and Ilford based restaurant Punjabi Lounge have backed the couple, who live in Hazelmere Gardens, Hornchurch with their four children.

Both Peter and Dolly, 34, have already handed out food and clothing to people on the streets volunteering for One Love Soup Kitchen based in Southend-on-Sea for two years. They even took their eight-year-old daughter along once to teach her the value of being kind to others.

“It felt so good handing food out and looking at them in their new clothes,” Peter said.

He explained how they met a lot of ex-soldiers sleeping rough as well as people who had lost their jobs and homes.

If the new venture goes well, Peter and Dolly would like to bring Homeless Eats to Romford.

“We would love to expand later on. If you put a food cart in Romford you’ll get people from everywhere,” he said.

City Hall figures reveal there were 27 rough sleepers in the borough between April 2017 and March this year.

Of these 18 hadn’t been seen sleeping rough before.

A total of 24 were UK nationals. Ten out of the 27 were between 26 and 35-years-old with nine aged from 46 to 55. Twenty one were white British and 10 had experience of prison.

There were 303 homeless people entitled to help from the council between April 2017 and March, according to government figures.

Homeless Eats will be at Clarence Road carpark in Southend-on-Sea from 7pm on Sundays.

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