Boots volunteers smile alongside the founders children as they prepare and package food

A group of Sikh people in Nottingham provided hundreds of hot meals for homeless people this week with the help of Boots Victoria Centre, Nottingham store.

The Guru Nanak Food Mission was founded three years ago in Nottingham and has been providing hot meals for homeless people every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Guru Nanak’s Food Mission; a group of Nottingham people from all different backgrounds – was joined by Boots UK’s Green Champions on Wednesday, November 2 after appealing on Facebook for more volunteers.

The store has a scheme which helps projects in the community, employees give their aid every month to a chosen project.

Rebecca Kirkbride-Hexter, 27, said: “I’ve never heard of this project before so I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to help out, see what it’s all about and help them get some exposure and it’s been a great experience.”

“it’s been a great experience”

The mission has quickly become one of the largest free food providers in Nottingham and gives out 200 hot, vegetarian meals a week.

Suki Bhaker’s husband, Rajinder Bhaker, and her brother, Harry Bhaker teamed up to create the Guru Nanak’s Food Mission in Nottingham.

She said: “My Husband and brother got the idea from Derby and it started with six of us and we were feeding 15 people but since then it’s grown massively and we now feed up to 70 people per week.”

The 34-year-old added: “I bring my children every week, they’ve grown up with it and we basically just want people to chip in, volunteer and give contributions rather than people just giving money.”

Volunteers cook in communal kitchens in three Gurdwaras in Nottingham and the meals are handed out every week in St Peter’s Square at 7.30pm.

Homelessness in the East Midlands www.homeless.org.uk/facts/homelessness-in-numbers/rough-sleeping/rough-sleeping-explore-data

Becky Rwen, a stock manager at Boots in Nottingham, said: “We wanted to come along and do some good and it feels great to get out into the community and help out.”

Jatinder Hanspal, a graphic designer of Oxford Road, West Bridgford sent out an appeal on Facebook and received a welcoming response from Nottingham’s Boots team.

He said: “We do all our appeals through Facebook, last week we appealed for more volunteers and we had a shortage of tomatoes so we put out a Facebook post and the response has been incredible.”

He added: “We have about 15-20 volunteers here on a good day but we always need more hands, we weren’t expecting such a big response from such a big and well-known company.”