Free curry hand-outs prove a hit with volunteers
The floods in Leeds had a devastating effect on residents and businesses alike, with millions of pounds worth of damage caused to the city.
However, amongst the chaos were stories of united communities, and the work of Charlie ‘Chaz’ Mo and local councillor, Cllr Javaid Akhtar, is just one example of the ‘big clean up’ operation.
The pair supplied dinner for ‘four days on the trot, for up to 70-80 people’ on Kirkstall Road – one of the worst hit areas in the city.
Giving out takeaway boxes of curry to volunteers at the flood site, the charitable pair dished out lamb, chicken, chickpea and vegetable biryani, as well as samosas.
Charlie said: “The reaction was just ‘wow’. The volunteers were so thankful for the food after a long day of cleaning and mopping. Some people actually recognised me anyway because I feed the homeless in Leeds.
“I don’t work for anybody with regards to my charity work. I pay for everything myself. I don’t like putting things like this in the paper, as I don’t want the publicity. I don’t want any donations. I will not take any money off anyone, full stop.”
It was mostly businesses in Kirkstall that were affected by the unexpected torrents of water in December last year.
The volunteers congregated at an art centre on Kirkstall Road with mops and wellingtons, swilling out the murky water from the inside of the damaged businesses.
Charlie added: “We supplied the food from the art centre and all the volunteers hooked up there.
“It’s worth noting we couldn’t have done it without Cllr Javaid Akhtar [councillor for Hyde Park and Woodhouse] as he donated food, too.”
Away from the floods, Charlie helps to feed the homeless at St George’s Crypt in Leeds.
He said: “Over Christmas Eve, I supplied the food for 80-100 homeless people in Leeds. I took 30-40 containers out to St George’s Crypt, and then I went to the homeless people under the arches. People say, why do you do this? I say, because it levels my sins off.”
Charlie said that there was a ‘great atmosphere’ and ‘fantastic community spirit’ during the Kirkstall clean ups.
“Football and disasters like this bring people together and it puts all religions and colours aside, which is absolutely brilliant.”