A group of volunteers who handed out thousands of meals to stranded truckers in Kent are now helping flood victims hit by Storm Bella.
Members of Khalsa Aid International dished out 1,000 pizzas and 1,500 bowls of curry and pasta to truck drivers in the days running up to Christmas.
But within hours of leaving the location on the M20 on Christmas night they got a call from flood-ravaged Bedfordshire—and set off the very next day.
They sourced four tons of sand and set about filling and distributing 1,000 sandbags by the end of the day.
“We’re all about being there when help is needed, which is now,” said Indy Narwal, a senior volunteer at Slough-based aid group.
“Sikhs are very giving people, and after such a bad year, we want to do all we can to help. If they need more help in the future, we’ll be back.”
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Indy, 31, described the 12-hour days which began December 12 and ended Christmas Day when they handed out Dominos pizza and hot meals provided by a local temple led by Guru Nanak Barbar in Kent.
“A hot meal goes a long way when you’re feeling stranded and lonely—and I hope we lifted the spirits of the lorry drivers,” he said.
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But no sooner had they arrived home on Christmas night they were already gearing up for their next mission.
By 2pm the next day, the Boxing Day holiday in Britain, a team of 12 volunteers from Khalsa Aid had filled 1,000 sandbags and worked until 8pm that night to distribute them.
“We’ve helped out with floods before, such as in Somerset in 2014, so we knew what we needed to do, and just dug in.”
More than 1,500 truckers were caught in gridlock limbo waiting to leave the UK after France shut its border due to coronavirus fears, and a new outbreak in England. Some drivers found places to stay, while others spent nights in their vehicles, waiting for information on when they could get home. Thousands of Covid-19 tests were being administered in an effort to clear the highway, so that those with negative test results could cross the border.
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“That’s what we’re all about – being there when help is needed, even in the wind and rain.
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