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Panas Helping Hands have been working hard for a number of years now to try and make a big difference locally and across the Globe. We have been involved with a number of initiatives to give that helping hand wherever and whenever we can.
A Nepalese restaurant has delivered its 100,000th free meal to members of the community since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sujan Katuwal, owner of Panas Gurkha in Lewisham, south London, started giving away meals to NHS workers, homeless shelters and community centres after being forced to shut the restaurant’s doors during the first Covid lockdown last March.
On Thursday he was joined by actor Joanna Lumley, a long-time campaigner for the UK’s Nepalese community, as he delivered meals to the Royal Artillery Barracks in Greenwich which took him past the 100,000 mark.
Ms Lumley said: “To look out and help people who are terribly busy and simply won’t have time to prepare food is such a generous and open-hearted thing to do.
“They’ve looked after care workers, the homeless community and to crack through the 100,000-meal barrier is simply sensational.
“It should inspire us all and it’s so heart-warming to hear of something so special happening so close to home in South London.”
The restaurant has spent tens of thousands of pounds on the Panas Helping Hands project and earlier this year set up a crowdfunding page to help keep campaign going.
Mr Katuwal said it was “really special” to have had support from Ms Lumley throughout.
“Although it’s been hard for restaurants too it’s always so important to remember those who are less fortunate than you and I know Joanna shares this sense of community spirit too,” he said.
“Her help has been invaluable and to have her with us handing out food to the people who really need it right now is really special.”
Mr Katuwal and his wife Bandana have already received recognition for their work – they were given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last year.
As well as Ms Lumley they have had support from actor Sally Lindsay and former Style Council drummer Steve White.
Greenwich Council leader Dan Thorpe said: “On behalf of everyone in Royal Greenwich I’d like to thank Panas Gurkha for the extraordinary work they have done in this pandemic.
“Covid-19 has brought out the very best in people and the contribution they have made to our communities in South East London has been absolutely incredible.”
Mr Katuwal said he now intends to continue his work in the community “forever”.
“It’s been a real eye-opening experience but also very rewarding seeing the local people so grateful,” he said.
“We’re just happy to do our bit during such a tough time.”
By ITV News Reporter Martha Fairlie
Source: ITV NEWS
A Nepalese restaurant in Lewisham has been recognised for its charitable work in the community by Charlton Athletic Football Club.
Sujan Katuwal, of Panas Gurkha in Lewisham, was presented with a signed Charlton Athletic shirt ahead of their match against Cambridge United.
The shirt was given to Katuwal after the restaurant gained notoriety for their incredible work in the local community since the start of the pandemic.
Led by Katuwal and his remarkable restaurant team, Panas donated and delivered over 100,000 free meals to local key workers during the pandemic.
After receiving the recognition, Mr Katuwal said: “It’s really quite amazing.
“We’re a local, community focused restaurant so the recognition we’ve received from a club that’s very close to our hearts is special.
“To see all the fans at the ground so appreciative of our efforts as well was really quite something.”
The shirt was presented to Katuwal in front of thousands of Charlton fans by the club’s owner Thomas Sandgaard and the CEO of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Jason Morgan.
Sandgaard said: “It’s very important that as Charlton we support local businesses. We want to thank Sujan and his restaurant for all they have done.”
The restaurant has been helping the local community further over the Christmas period, donating and delivering curries to foodbanks and homeless shelters in Greenwich and Woolwich.
Source: South London Press
A Lewisham restaurant has been given an award for their work with homeless people during the pandemic.
Sujan Katuwal, owner of the Panas Gurkha restaurant on Lee High Road near Blackheath, has been donating hot meals to the Woolwich Service User Project (WSUP) since March 2020.
He said: “We never planned to do it, we never thought that Covid would go this far. But when we started we never looked back.
“Being Nepalese, and being a Gurkha, we are not only the bravest of the brave in the battlefield, we are the kindest of the kind.
“Up until now people know Gurkha for our bravery. We are not only brave, we are the kindest people. So I want to give that message on behalf of Nepalese people to my community.”
During the height of the pandemic, Mr Katuwal was visiting the charity twice a week, giving out 30 to 40 meals each time.
Although they have cut down to just once a week as life has begun to return to normal, he said he has no plans to stop helping people.
He said: “When people ask me when are you going to stop, I say I’m not going to stop. As long as people need me I’m there, whatever level I can do.
“I do it because I enjoy doing this, and because they need our help big time.”
He added: “It gives me self satisfaction and joy, and seeing the smile on those peoples faces is the best thing I’ve ever encountered.
“It’s very close to my heart.”
The restaurant was presented the Covid-19 Response Champion Award by the new mayor of Greenwich, Cllr Denise Hyland.
The ceremony was held on the Cutty Sark on July 26 and included a performance from the NHS Choir, and speeches from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Danny Thorpe and past Mayor, Cllr Linda Bird.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Danny Thorpe: “This event was a great opportunity to show our appreciation to those who selflessly put others before themselves over the past year, as well as welcoming in our new Mayor for 2021 to 2022.
“We are very privileged in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to have so many people to give thanks to, and to be able to host this event now that restrictions have been lifted.”
WSUP is a grass-roots project that supports those seeking help in the local community.
They provide practical and emotional support specifically to service users who are experiencing homelessness, vulnerable housing or are recovering from illness or addiction.
Other winners of the Covid-19 Response Champion Awards included Volunteer Centre Greenwich, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Charlton Athletic Football Club, and the NHS South East London CCG (Greenwich).
By: Alexandra Warren
Source: South London Press