Joanna Lumley offers a helping hand as Lewisham restaurant hits meal milestone

By Toby Porter

A restaurant has celebrated delivering its 100,000th meal to key workers by getting a helping hand from actress Joanna Lumley.

Panas Gurkha in Lewisham has been a mainstay for huge numbers of people throughout the struggle of the pandemic and that was marked by soldiers and staff at Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich last Thursday.

The barracks hosted restauranteur Sujan Katuwal as Kennington resident Lumley helped him pass the landmark meal in Greenwich.

Military personnel from Woolwich, alongside members of the NHS, have been some of the many recipients of Sujan’s 100,000 meals.

The barracks was one of many locations where Sujan started his deliveries and a bond of friendship was quickly formed.

Joanna Lumley

Station Regimental Sergeant Major Andy Ward invited Sujan to deliver his landmark meal from within the camp, alongside NHS and other charity partners from the area.

Joanna Lumley, who has supported Sujan’s campaign from the start on social media, also helped out in person.

As the final meal was delivered, Sujan announced that he would not be stopping – and has formed the charity ‘Panas Helping Hands’ to continue feeding not just key workers, but also those most in need within South East London.

Sujan’s team cook and prepare the meals he donates and this will continue as the base for his charity.

Warrant Officer Class Two Jason De-Bargeton from the Military Provost Guard Service who has been one of the many service personnel to receive a meal from Sujan said: “What Sujan has done is an incredible achievement and we’re very grateful and privileged to have received some of his meals for key workers.

“It’s fantastic news that he’s going to continue his brilliant work in the local community and we all look forward to supporting him in the future.”

Royal Artillery Barracks is home to 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra and the National Reserve Headquarters of the Royal Artillery.

Royal Anglian personnel have been deployed throughout this pandemic in support of the NHS, in both testing roles and also in a General Duties role at a number of London hospitals.

Panas Gurkha won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June last year, the UK’s top honor for such work in the UK.

Fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-panas-gurkha-continue-to-feed-our-nhs-heroes

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