Coronavirus Sikh Support
Sikhs and Covid-19
2020 was a year that none of us will forget; when the Coronavirus pandemic swept the world by storm. On 5th March the first Covid- 19 death was reported in the UK with over 100 cases. By 16th March the death toll went up to 55 and over 1500 cases were reported.
On this day Guru Nanak Seva and South London Sikh Youth sat down and put together a plan for delivering hot meals to vulnerable individuals isolating at home. After an Ardas (prayer of petition) to the Eleventh Sikh Guru: Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, on 22nd March the plan was put into action and Sevadars (selfless volunteers) began cooking and delivering hot meals between Dartford and Catford using an online sign up system. On 23rd March 2020, a National Lockdown was announced by the UK government.
We then received a request from Gravesend Gurdwara Sahib to serve NHS staff in University Hospital, Lewisham with free hot meals. With intensive and prompt planning an isolated and Covid- safe cooking and packing workshop was set up at Gurdwara Sahib Woolwich, with over 200 Sevadars joining the Seva.
Those who could not join the Seva physically, donated food supplies and money. The contribution from the local community was overwhelming. With The Coronavirus Sikh Support initiative in full swing, over 2000 hot meals were cooked, packed and delivered to five London hospitals (Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth, Eltham, Orpington and Kings College) and vulnerable individuals isolating at home between Dartford and Catford. All the while, The Free Kitchen did not miss a day and even moved to Erith for one day a week during the second lockdown as residents felt the effect of furlough.
The meals were pre- packed during this period to protect our Sevadars and service users.
We are truly grateful for this opportunity for Seva and the support that we received.