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Caring pensioners finance centre for the isolated
Two caring pensioners are spending their own money to help isolated and homeless people.
Mohammed Zahid, 69 and Nazir Ahmed, 75, set up the ‘Omeed’ soup kitchen last year for anyone who needs a good meal and a chance to interact with people.
Omeed means ‘hope’ in Urdu and Mr Zahid said this is what their nights of poetry, conversation and traditional Indian curry bring to visitors.
Mr Zahid, of Rose Bank Road, Walthamstow, said: “For those people who are stuck at home, it’s a good time for them.
“They can express themselves, talk about how they are and get some good food.”
The centre, in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, is given to them to use every Thursday night between 6pm and 9pm by the Indigent Muslim Trust for free.
Other costs have been covered by Mr Zahid and Mr Ahmed.
Mr Zahid set up the Omeed soup kitchen when he realised how many rough sleepers there were in the community and how much demand there was for the existing soup kitchens in the borough.
He has also arranged for food to be delivered to several addresses in the nearby area to elderly people who cannot get down to the centre.
Some local businessmen have started donating to Omeed.
Basharid Akram, of High Street, Walthamstow donated a set of large pans, Mr Shaukatali of Fashion Fair in High Street, Walthamstow donated flour, rice and lentils and Mr Fahim Azm of Meadway Properties in Boundary Road gave money so they could buy the ingredients they needed.
Mr Zahid and the Omeed committee hope to develop the service, with help from local charities, to run the 'curry kitchen' three nights a week.
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