Hetvi Parekh, a mother-of-two who leads the regional branch for National charity ‘Sewa Day’ in Nottingham, has received a Points of Light award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson for her incredible charity work during lockdown.
Sewa Day is 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.
Hetvi, who also helped put together the West Bridgford Community Helpers, has successfully coordinated a whopping 50 tonnes of food donations to food banks, charities and schools to help those in need during the pandemic. That’s around 25,000 meals to key workers, vulnerable people, the homeless and international students in Nottingham.
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.”
Hetvi told the Local News, ““Be the change you want to see in the world”. This quote is by Mahatma Gandhi. I want to make my community a better place, so I just engaged in selfless action along with a group of volunteers.
“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 for all the volunteers who have worked for the last year to make a difference in the community. I can only hope that this award inspires our younger generation to come forward and give back to their community and also be able to lead social action groups and initiatives for change.”
About Points of Light award
Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week-day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.