Posted 24 April 2015 4:18 PM by John Greaves
A chance conversation between a HomeServe call centre worker and one of its directors has led to “overwhelming support” from the business and its employees for an inspiring charity helping people in need in cities across the Midlands.
Founded in Walsall by Randhir Singh Heer, the brother of HomeServe employee Bhupinder “Pops” Heer, the Midland Langar Seva Society offers an open kitchen to “all and everyone” in need of food. Rooted in 500-year-old Sikh traditions of offering open kitchens at temples for anyone of any background, the Midland Langar Seva Society’s teams of volunteers distribute hot food, treats and clothes to the community in Walsall, as well as Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Leicester.
The charity relies on the support of teams of dedicated volunteers, as well as food, transport and storage. HomeServe has thrown its support behind the project, by providing teams of volunteers, food collection banks at its Walsall HQ.
It has also now donated one of its vans – with Midland Langar Seva branding with its insurance, tax and MOT paid for at least a year – to enable volunteers to use to get food directly into the communities they serve.
“Although the open kitchens provided by the Midland Langar Seva Society have roots in Sikh tradition, we support all and everyone in need of food. Helping people most in need is something that spans every culture and every tradition”, said Pops who, along with his family, organise open kitchens six nights a week.
“We rely on volunteers, we rely on goodwill and we rely on food donations. And we’ve had that in spades from the HomeServe family since I mentioned our work to one of the directors here, Greg Reed. It’s great to work for a company that truly listens and, since then, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from so many people. The van donation really is the icing on the cake!”
HomeServe volunteers are now booked in every Thursday night with the Midland Langar Seva Society up until the end of June at least. HomeServe also has a team of dedicated volunteers championing the cause inside and outside of their day jobs. As well as Pops, Jag Kaur, Indy Garcha, Purd Rai, Parveen Rana, Aman Herr, Neil Bentley and Baljit Lidhar all support the society with food collections, deliveries, and co-ordinating the company’s volunteer teams.
Indy added: “None of us do this to chase recognition, we do this to deliver something meaningful to the people we serve. To give them hope, and for them to know people care about them regardless of their circumstances or background. When we meet people, every story is different. They can be eye-opening, and make you realise that anyone could potentially find themselves in a situation when they are in need of hot food.
“We know HomeServe is a business that backs the causes it believes in – it backs its people – and that rings true with the support they’ve given us, and continue to give us. We’ve been blown away by the van and the donations we are receiving every week, by the commitment of the people joining us and by the added extras we’ve been given by HomeServe to do more, and to do it better. The key now is to keep this momentum going!”
HomeServe is a national home assistance company providing plumbing, drainage, electrics and heating maintenance and repair services through its own network of directly employed and sub-contracting specialist engineers. Around two million people in the UK have placed their trust in HomeServe and turn to us when it comes to fixing, maintaining and looking after their home.