Sewa Day Nottingham
1603. Hetvi Parekh
Hetvi Parekh, from Nottingham, has coordinated 50 tons of food donations to foodbanks, charities and schools in Nottingham in response to the pandemic.
A social worker and mother-of-two, Hetvi leads the regional branch of national charity ‘Sewa Day’ in Nottingham, a non-profit and volunteer-run organisation which operates a community kitchen at Hindu Temple Nottingham and Sai Dham for homeless people, students and any other vulnerable people in need of help. With the support of both temples, Hetvi has coordinated and raised funds and food donations for deliveries of 25,000 meals to key workers, vulnerable people, the homeless, and international students in Nottingham in response to the pandemic.
Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, Hetvi has been working with local schools, foodbanks, football clubs, community centres, the city and county council and charities for the homeless to ensure fresh food reaches people in need. She has also been supporting children during school closures with activity packs and resources, and also coordinated 900 Christmas presents during the Christmas period via the shoebox appeal campaign. More recently, Hetvi worked closely with another charity ‘Communities Working Together’ (CWT) to ensure delivery of 172 food parcels to vulnerable children and families for half term holidays.
In a personal letter to Hetvi, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for all you have done during this pandemic to serve your community.
“I was astonished to hear how you have collected over 50 tons of donated food – equivalent to the weight of a humpback whale! Alongside your team at the temple, you have also delivered 35,000 meals to key workers, students and others in need.
“With your ‘Spread Some Joy’ campaign, sending pictures and letters from children to care home residents, you are also truly spreading joy.”
Ruth Edwards, Hetvi’s local MP for Rushcliffe, said:
“Hetvi is an incredible person who has done an amazing job supporting so many people in our community. Her tireless dedication to helping many vulnerable people across Nottinghamshire has truly been a source of light and hope to many people.”
“I am truly honoured and feel humbled to be given this award. It’s a privilege to be the regional coordinator in Nottingham for the national charity Sewa Day. Sewa means selfless service without any expectations. Our goal is to help relieve hardships and bring a little joy to others.
“This award is a culmination of the efforts of a number of volunteers from Sewa Day, and various other organisations that we have worked jointly with to make a difference in these difficult times. No act of kindness is ever wasted and I would urge all people to volunteer their time and serve humanity. To volunteer with us, please visit our website below.”
Pictured below: Hetvi and her fellow volunteers at work preparing and distributing meals and essentials to people in need