Sussex Indian Punjabi Society is supporting RAYS a Curry to help feed the community to celebrate Vaisakhi this year. Due to COVID19 restrictions we are unable to organise the usual dinner & dance but we are hoping our members/volunteers can support this community initiative as a worthy replacement. If members of the community wish to support or participate, they can each help by cooking a large pot/tub of vegetarian food, enough to serve 20 people and drop off to our dedicated members; Shilpa & Pinakin Patel who run RAYS a Curry. They will consolidate & pre-heat this food before serving on Sunday to our communities at the Brighton Clock Tower. Volunteers can also request permission in advance to help distribute the food on Sunday or simply donate funds for Vaisakhi which will all go to RAYS a Curry
Preferred type of Vegetarian food: Liquid curried sauce with vegetarian ingredients like Chickpeas, Paneer, Peas, Potatoes, Soya, Kidney beans etc or Soups like Lentil Daal (Note: CHAPATI / ROTI / BREAD IS NOT REQUIRED)
Saturday 10th April – Cook & drop off food in large ‘Cooking Pot/Tub’, enough to serve 20 people to our members residence in Patcham who run RAYS a Curry
As Head Park-keeper of Wish Park in Hove, Gerald Flanagan is known for the warm welcome he gives to every single visitor. In fact, Gerald has worked hard to create a strong community spirit by getting to know each regular park user individually. And whatever the weather, he always finds the time to chat, offering a listening ear to anyone who needs it.
He is also very proactive in making the park a better place, giving up his own free time to attend meetings and research ideas. Whatever the problem or challenge, Gerald is always willing to find a solution. In fact, he goes above and beyond with all his duties, whether that’s keeping the space totally shipshape or coming up with the colourful park mural initiative.
Gerald’s endless enthusiasm is contagious, creating positive changes all around him and making Wish Park a better place for all. And although he has faced more than his fair share of challenges in life, he stays focused on bringing a smile to the faces of everybody he meets.
A true community player, Jayanti Vaghadia has spent countless hours helping vulnerable people in Brighton and beyond.
Born in Kenya, he came to Sussex in 1964 to finish his studies. After graduating as an engineer, he worked in the motor industry until retiring in 2013. Yet in his spare time, Jayanti has always looked out for others. From giving out soup on Brighton seafront in the 80s to volunteering as a befriender at Blind Veterans, he has brought joy to a lot of people. And over a 23 year period, he raised more than £24,000 for the British Heart Foundation through charity bike rides.
If this wasn’t enough, Jayanti has also volunteered at the 2012 Olympics, picked fruit for the Fareshare food charity and helped out at his local library. During the pandemic he has done odd jobs for the elderly, plus cycled across the city twice a week to give out hot meals, sleeping bags and clothes to the homeless.
Known as a quiet and caring person who is always ready to help others, Jayanti has devoted his life to spreading kindness around Brighton.
When Shilpi Chandra first moved to Brighton from the small town of Mussoorie in North India, she knew no one except her husband. But over the years she has become a crucial figure in city life.
For over a decade, Shilpi has been a leading light in the city’s North Indian community and active member of Sussex Indian Punjabi Society. Gifted at bringing people of all ages together, she has been a key force in creating connections between various local Indian groups. For instance during lockdown, when the community wasn’t able to celebrate Diwali in the usual way, her work inspired a free live Facebook concert to raise money for the charity. She also organised Christmas presents for the homeless including gloves, hats, scarves along with a hot meal.
And when Shilpi’s daughter Kiara had to cancel her ninth birthday party in April due to lockdown, they both decided to do something for the community. So mother and daughter gave away decorated packages crammed with treats to homeless people on the seafront. News of this went viral on social media and gathered attention worldwide, including some Bollywood stars. As a result, Shilpi and Kiara created the Bag of Kindness initiative, where people can donate a meal on their birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions. To date, over 1000 homemade meals have now been given to the homeless.
Shilpi also hasn’t forgotten her hometown of Mussoorie, where she helps the Red Rose School for disadvantaged children as a teacher, sponsor and fundraiser. In fact, whether it is in Brighton or in India, Shilpi Chandra is just one of those people who wants to make the world a better place. And best of all, she is inspiring everyone else to do the same.
Emily Kenward believes passionately in the power of friendship to change people’s lives. After losing her beloved grandmother, Emily began wondering how she could make life better for the city’s elderly. Knowing that loneliness is a huge issue for older people, she gave up a successful career in marketing to create Time to Talk Befriending. Launched in 2013, the charity offers friendship and community to older people in East Sussex.
The Charity also works together with Sussex Indian Punjabi Society and other local BAME groups to raise awareness of loneliness during COVID19 and how it’s impact on social well-being can be improved.
Known for her ‘smile as big as her heart’, Emily has recruited a team of volunteers to bring companionship and connection to seniors. And in the process, many life-changing friendships have been forged.
When the pandemic started Emily was quick to take action, offering phone support and distributing emergency food parcels to homes. Every food parcel included two fresh home-cooked meals from a local chef and in total, over 3000 were delivered to those most in need. As well as this, Emily recruited an incredible 200 extra volunteers to help beat lockdown isolation.
Emily’s work has also received a number of awards and nominations, including the National Lottery Good Cause Community Champion Award and The Argus Community Stars Award. Supported by her team of staff and over 500 volunteers, she pours her heart and soul into the charity every single day of the year, including at Christmas.
As one volunteer says:
‘Emily sends ripples of love and care into the community, helping hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people across Brighton and Hove. She has been a lifeline for many, giving them a sense of purpose and a new zest for life. Emily is a Brighton treasure.’