Sikh volunteers cook for hospital workers after staff shortages close canteen

Watch our report by ITV Meridian reporter Sarah Saunders

Sikh volunteers at the Gravesend Gurdwara have been preparing hundreds of meals for Darent Valley hospital workers over the Christmas break, after covid absences reportedly meant the staff canteen had to close.

Around 300 meals a day have been prepared at the Guru Nanak Darber Gurdwara, which were then delivered by lunchtime to hospital staff.

The canteen was open for reduced hours over the festive period and hungry staff were also unable to grab a meal at nearby shops which had also shut over the festive break.

Volunteers have been arriving from 6am to start cooking.

Shaminder Singh Bedi said, "It's the basic content of Sikhism, we have been brought up this way, it's been going on for the past 500 years. It's part of the Sikh culture to share.

Every Gurdwara has a kitchen so anyone can come and have a meal. The hospital meals are being delivered for free, funded by donations from the  Sikh community.

Volunteers cooked around 300 meals a day for hospital staff

Steve Fenlon, Medical Director at Darent Valley Hospital said: "We didn't expect anything but we were offered this help for our hardworking staff and it's given them such a morale boost. As much as providing them with food it's provided them with the support of their community and the feeling that they are not alone."