03:24PM, Wednesday 23 December 2020
Credit: Khalsa Aid
Humanitarian workers from Slough helped serve up hot meals to stranded lorry drivers near the port of Dover.
Hundreds of lorries have been prevented from leaving the country due to France’s decision to close its UK border over fears of a new variant of COVID-19.
This left drivers stranded near the Kent coast without access to food, water or basic services.
Slough-based humanitarian charity Khalsa Aid travelled down to the region to work alongside the Sikh community in Gravesend to cook up hot meals.
Ravi Singh, Khalsa Aid founder, told the Express: “We were watching the news and saw the drivers struggling with limited supplies and complaining that they didn’t have enough food.
“We had a quick reconnaissance a few days ago and went back yesterday working with Kent Police who asked for 800 hot meals which we provided alongside the local Sikh community in Kent.
“That was distributed last night working with all the emergency services including the coastguard and on top of that we provided snacks and bottles of water.”
Ravi said Kent Police has requested a further 1,000 meals today.
Volunteers from Khalsa Aid will be continuing their work alongside helpers from Coventry-based Langar Aid.
Ravi added: “If we wait for politics to settle the matter we’ll be here forever.
“These are real lives and real people who are suffering and we don’t want to be making it worse for them.
“You have to be there to see how despondent they are.
“They’re on the M20 with no services, no shops and just their cabs and the weather was really bad yesterday.
“It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all and there’s no goodwill for these drivers who are struggling in these conditions so we need to prove it’s the season of goodwill.”
New images have been released showing how Slough High Street could look if the redevelopment of the Queensmere Shopping Centre goes ahead.