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Sikh group in Manchester gets Queen’s award for voluntary service

The Sikh Sewa Organisation is among several Sikh organisations which provide food and clothing to the homeless in many places across the UK.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2019 08:18 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Sikh group,Sikh Sewa Organisation,Charity organisation
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service honours the work of exceptional groups in the United Kingdom.(REUTERS)

Sikh Sewa Organisation, a leading charity providing food and clothes to the homeless in Manchester, is one of several groups on Sunday awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service that honours the work of exceptional groups.

Founded by investment manager Pritpal Singh Makan, SSO provides food, clothes and support to the homeless, needy and unfortunate in Piccadilly Gardens, central Manchester, every Sunday. It also works with several other charity organisations.

SSO’s work to make a positive impact on lives has been noted by the local press, which reports its activities for the benefit for the growing number of homeless on the streets of Manchester. It has volunteers from all backgrounds and religions.

“When we first founded SSO I was very saddened by the rising number of homeless people on the streets in Manchester. More and more people are sleeping in doorways. These are people who have fallen on hard times or have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances,” Makan told the local media.

“And for that reason we thought we should do whatever we can to help them. So each Sunday we provide a hot meal for anyone going hungry in Manchester. It’s always vegetarian to ensure anyone can have some”, he told the Manchester Evening News.

SSO is among several Sikh organisations providing food and clothing to the homeless in several places across the UK. They include the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team (SWAT), which offers such support every week in Oxford, Southall, Charing Cross and Camden Town every week.

Announcing the list of awardees on Sunday, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport said the award is the highest given to volunteer groups in the United Kingdom to recognise exceptional service within their communities.

The awardees include the Newcastle-based North East Hindu Cultural Trust, whose aim includes advancing education and provide facilities for the recreation and other leisure time activities for the Hindu community in the north-east of England.

Mims Davies, minister for civil society and sport, said: “Volunteers make an incredible difference to so many people’s lives and their communities. These prestigious awards recognise the wonderful work being done by many voluntary organisations across the country”

First Published: Jun 02, 2019 23:48 IST