Alam Sher: An inspiration to us all

Alam Sher isn’t looking for recognition or to win any popularity contests. But that’s what he deserves. He’s a perfect example of what happens when good people decide that ‘enough is enough’, see the poverty and the distress that exists in their local community and decide to do something about it.

It was 2012 when Alam, then aged 59 took it upon himself to cook for hungry Glaswegians and distribute food free of charge to those who had nothing. Now, nearly three years later the food is still prepared in Alam’s own home, just as before but the whole operation has grown significantly since those early days.

Now Alam’s venture has grown far beyond its humble beginnings. Local businesses regularly donate food and the poverty relief project has two fully staffed soup kitchens, one at the Glasgow Central Mosque and another on the city’s Cadogan Street, and a fleet of drivers who distribute around 100 food packs every week to homeless and poverty-stricken people throughout the city.

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Apart from the 100 food packs already mentioned, Alam and his team also provide an additional 30 food packs per week to refugees and asylum seekers through the charity ‘Positive Action’. The team estimates that they’ve delivered around 20,000 food parcels free of charge since the first hot food found its way out of Alam’s kitchen and on to the plates of Glasgow’s most desperate citizens back in 2012.

From their base at the Glasgow Central Mosque the poverty relief project has also developed working links with the Glasgow Homeless Shelter and runs a successful sideline in collecting and distributing clothing, a much-needed service given the cold winter weather of Clydeside’s most famous city.

You can learn more about the poverty relief project, along with the other services from community bridge-building through ‘Islam awareness’ to the blood donation programme run by the Glasgow Central Mosque here.

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BF vs KFC

This is Stephen Colquhoun, a 23 years old, recently unemployed man from Glasgow. He’s also the latest Biffer poster boy, having left the KFC in Glasgow’s Renfrew Street amid a row about food safety.

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According to Britain First this was a row about patriotism and remembrance. They’d have you believe that he was sacked because he revered the memory of this country’s war dead, refusing to remove his Royal British Legion poppy as demanded by his manager.

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The basics of the story are, of course, correct. Colquhoun did indeed fail to remove his poppy and he did end up leaving the KFC restaurant a little earlier than he’d planned as a result. But it had nothing to do with patriotism or remembrance and everything to do with KFC’s statutory requirement to maintain food safety. It’s ludicrous to propose that KFC object to the poppy when they had a poppy box taking pride of place within the premises. That’s where Colquhoun bought it!

The reality is that any loosely pinned symbol, especially one fastened with a metal pin would be banned during food preparation. We just have to consider the implications of a metal pin becoming ‘lost’ in a customer’s meal and the potentially lethal injuries it could cause to understand why.

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It’s also worth noting that Colquhoun had already resigned and was working out his notice. He said…

“I had handed in my notice to KFC and was only due to work for another couple of weeks but I could have done with the cash from my last few shifts.”

Here’s what the Scottish daily, The Daily Record had to say about the affair…

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