North Warwickshire’s MP Craig Tracey, Kamal Miah, of Maya restaurant in Atherstone, and Tam Webster of Veterans Contact Point.

A restaurant in Atherstone has raised £500 for an armed forces charity – after donating £1 for every Tikka Masala sold on British Curry Day.

The national event was launched to mark those who came to Britain from the 1960s – opening restaurants and takeaways – and to show support for the industry today.

And Maya, in Sheepy Road, took part to support Veterans’ Contact Point (VCP), which was nominated by North Warwickshire’s MP Craig Tracey.

Kamal Miah, who runs Maya and is third generation in the industry, said: “This was an opportunity to support charity and celebrate our forefathers, who introduced millions of Britons to a taste of the subcontinent.”

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Tam Webster, peer support lead VCP, said: “We are very grateful to all the team at Maya and their customers for supporting our charity.

“British Curry Day, which marks the nation’s favourite dish and has coincided with Bangladeshi independence, is a great event.”

Mr Tracey said: “Kamal and his team are fantastic supporters of our local community and get involved in lots of charitable work.

“I was delighted to be asked to work with them on this particular initiative, where it was great to be able to support local veterans through the excellent Veterans Contact Point – a charity very close to my heart”

Challenges

Curry houses continue to face challenges following the outbreak of Covid-19. Enam Ali, publisher of Spice Business magazine and event founder, has spoken of ‘losing many of the country’s first curry restaurateurs’ to the pandemic.

UK Curry Connect (UKCC) is a campaign group which has been set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry.

Naseem is UKCC director for social responsibility and sustainability, as well as founder of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) charity – looking at ways to reduce single-plastic use in the catering industry.

He added: “British curry has been a key culinary and cultural contribution made by migrants from the Indian subcontinent.

“The industry continues to adapt, including finding ways to support its community and be more environmentally friendly.”

Kamal, who received an award for community support from the High Sheriff and deputy lord lieutenant of Warwickshire Joe Greenwell, has struggled to get staff due to work permit issues.

He said: “It’s been a challenging time – from dealing with lockdowns, cancellations due to Covid, difficulties getting supplies and staffing issues.

“But we have very supportive customers. We’re still open. We’re still trading. We’re still in good health. We’re grateful.”

Bangladeshi Independence

British Curry Day coincides with 50 years of independence for Bangladesh and it is a national holiday in the country on December 16.

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