South Ilford Community Kitchen considers night shelter for Christmas

Bashir Chaudhry, Ali Younis, Mubarak Ali and Lal Gujar with the food collection

Bashir Chaudhry, Ali Younis, Mubarak Ali and Lal Gujar with the food collection - Credit: Archant

A community kitchen is looking into the option of providing an overnight shelter for 15 to 20 people during the Christmas period.

The South Ilford Community Kitchen, in Eton Road, Ilford, has been open since April and provides two meals a day for those needing food.

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims (LBM), oversees the running of the project, which sees around 20 people visit the kitchen each day.

He said: “At Christmas the Salvation Army in Clements Road offers a night shelter from December.

“We could sleep about 15 to 20 people here but we need to find mattresses.

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“It would only be temporary - we could not offer shelter all the time, but it would so these people are not on the street. There are so many things to worry about if you are sleeping rough.”

Mr Chaudhry added the kitchen would not be able to offer shelter full-time due to a lack of resources.

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Project organisers are seeking funding to pay staff who volunteer at the kitchen.

Mr Chaudhry hopes to win funding from “the council and other sources” in the coming months to ensure a night shelter during Christmas can go ahead.

The project’s chef, known as Mubarak, has been off sick for the last two weeks, forcing the kitchen to temporarily close.

Mr Chaudhry added: “All of the staff and the chef are volunteers - it would be good to be able to pay them something.

“If we lose the chef, we are lost. We need someone to do the cleaning as well.

“Everyone tries their best helping out but it is a big job.”

If you would like to provide spare mattresses for the South Ilford Community Kitchen please call the League of British Muslims on 0208 514 0706.

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