MLSS Northampton awarded Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
Come torrential rain or glorious sunshine there is one community group that consistently shows up every Friday and Sunday evening with friendly smiles, heartwarming welcomes, and comforting food.
Four years ago one amazing community group, the Langar Seva, started to bring together members of the Sikh and other faith communities in a bid to feed those less fortunate on Abington Street. And more recently, they have started to feed those at the emergency night shelter on a Friday night. It might be just a small gesture of kindness - but to some people who are less fortunate than others - the groups' weekly voluntary work means the world.
Now, the Midland Langar Seva Society, which oversees Langar Seva in Northampton, has recently been awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2018 for their tireless work and dedication. Langar is the term used in Sikhism for a free-of-charge community kitchen at a Gurdwara - a place of worship - where a vegetarian meal is served to all the visitors, without distinction of religion. Seva means selfless service.
The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. It is essentially the MBE for volunteer groups. The letter sent to the charity to tell them of their commendation said: 'The work your group does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE and I am delighted to inform you that your group has been selected as a recipient for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2018.
'The award of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2018 represents a tremendous achievement for your organisation. We hope that everyone involved, and particularly your volunteers, feel immensely proud of the recognition that this award represents'.
Area coordinator Inderjit Jutla said: "The only donations we take are food: lentils, chickpeas, whatever comes in we cook up. None of this could have been possible without the volunteers. It's a good team that we have together here. They should be extremely proud of themselves. I think with volunteering, it's good for the soul and your own wellbeing. There's a lot of gain from it whether that's in the Sikh faith or any faith - it really does pay off."