A mother and daughter have been turning up on people’s doorsteps to surprise them with a homemade cake as a way to thank them for their efforts during the Coronavirus panademic.
Over the last few months, tens of thousands of people throughout the country have been doing their bit from delivering food parcels to people in isolation to making masks for NHS staff and doing welfare phone checks to elderly and vulnerable people.
In March, the Daily Mirror partnered up with the British Red Cross to support the nation throughout the crisis, helping more than 70,000 people sign up to become a volunteer with them.
Many smaller community groups have also come together to help their neighbours by delivering food parcels to those in need, picking up prescriptions and medication for people in isolation and creating WhatsApp support groups.
Min Kaur and her mother Pritpal from Harlington in London, wanted to do something special to celebrate people in their local communities who have gone above and beyond.
The pair have launched a 13-day challenge where they will surprise people with a homemade cake to thank them for their contribution over the last few months.
Min, 39, who is a henna artist and journalism student, said: “We praise the good work the NHS do, but what about the people in the communities who have provided a lot of support, they are our hidden heroes.
“The idea came to me, when a friend baked a cake for the NHS, which I decorated with a henna design using icing and I thought about giving cakes to our local heroes.”
This week Pritpal, 69, has already baked half a dozen cakes, which Min has decorated, putting her henna talent to good use.
The cakes are eggless because Min and her family don’t eat eggs because it is not permitted in the Sikh religion.
The duo have already surprised their neighbour Linda Mawhinney, 71, who is a carer to her husband.
Linda from Harlington regularly sweeps the litter off her street as well as doing the food shop for vulnerable neighbours.
A cancer survivor, who has been helping homeless people in her area, was also on Min and Pritpal’s wish list this week.
Margarida Pires from Southall has been running a homeless project at St John’s Church.
Although many homeless people from the area were moved to temporary accommodation before the lockdown, some people were still sleeping on the streets.
Margarida said: “There were so many on the streets of Southall as some lost their jobs and accommodation with the pandemic.
“I decided to help by giving them essential food, clothing, little comforts and a word of encouragement where necessary.
“I used the church hall as a base for my project and I am so grateful to everyone who donated items.
“The cake was a very pleasant and delicious surprise, beautifully presented with a mehndi (henna) icing pattern. The recognition is very special for me.”
Min and Pritpal also surprised Arvinder Singh, who was recently featured on BBC’s Ross Kemp and Britain’s Volunteer Army show, for delivering food to vulnerable residents and his local police station.
A cake was also delivered to Raju Singh, who runs Cranford Supermarket, a corner shop in Hounslow.
Min added: “Raju kept the prices as low as possible, while many others hiked their prices. Raju went out of his way to get any items people needed.”
Post offices, GP surgeries, Tesco Express, bus drivers, staff from Transport for London, bin men, nurses and care workers are among those to be surprised by Min and Pritpal over the coming days.
Min said: “We’re doing it over 13 days, because the number 13 is very special to us in the Sikh religion and my dad Rajinder is also raising £13,000 for the NHS.
“We wanted to do something for our nearby communities, it has been a tough few months and due to lockdown restrictions Sikhs were not able to celebrate Vaisakhi with our loved ones and Muslims were not able to mark Ramadan or celebrate Eid this year.
“As a self-employed henna artist, I don’t have any work at the minute, and I wanted to do something, I wanted to spread positivity because I believe what you give, is what you get back.”
Min’s father Rajinder has also become a viral sensation after posting his daily exercise videos online from his allotment.
He has now become known as the ‘Skipping Sikh’. The 73-year-old says Sikhs are suffering social isolation following the temporary closure of Gurdwaras and says his videos aim to reconnect people during these challenging times.