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The heart of Southall

The community in Southall has come together to help its most vulnerable to access food and support during COVID-19.

The Young Adult Centre has been temporarily transformed into a food distribution hub. Since the project began on Monday, 20 April hundreds of food parcels have been distributed to local families in need. The hub is being run jointly by the Young Ealing Foundation and Southall Community Alliance.

The Young Ealing Foundation is a local organisation set up in 2017 and supported by the private and public sector. They are dedicated to improving opportunities and life chances for young people in Ealing. The Southall Community Alliance is a network of more than 100 community groups and charities in Southall. Both are part of the Ealing Together coalition.

Powered by volunteers

Food is donated by the Felix Project, City Harvest and the local community, including residents who have answered the call through local mutual aid groups. And twice a week their volunteers get together to parcel them up and send them to local families that are struggling. They have also started to include donated toys and books for the children.

The project is now looking for donations of tinned and pantry staples, such as rice, flour and pasta. Donations can be dropped to the Young Adult Centre, Southall, on Mondays and Thursdays around midday.

The Sri Guru Singh Sabha gurdwara in Havelock Road, Southall, has also been feeding the local community on a huge scale. Their langar, or community kitchen, is powered by volunteers and has been making and packaging 3000 hot meals every day.

The meals are collected from the gurdwara’s gate, despatched to local hospitals and delivered to local people who are housebound. Sikhs have a well-known tradition of service and hospitality and their hot meal service is available to residents through Ealing Together’s community support directory.

Amazing community spirit

Peter Mason, cabinet lead for Ealing Together, said: “Southall is known for its amazing community spirit and I have seen this is action at the Young Adult Centre and the Sri Guru Singh Sabha today.

“We know that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and Southall is one of the most diverse places in London. And the impacts are made all the worse, because in Southall, incomes are around half those of what they are in the east of the borough.

“That’s why these projects, and the other good work that is happening in Southall right now, are so important.”

The community groups and local charities working as part of the Ealing Together coalition rely on cash donations. Donations can be made directly to the groups by going to the Ealing Together donate page.

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