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Volunteers work hard to get Wolverhampton gurdwara ready

Volunteers and staff have been working together to ensure a Wolverhampton gurdwara is ready for reopening.

Pictured laying tape down in the prayer room, to enable social distancing, are Ruben Johal and Gurmukh Benning, both aged 12

The Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara is one of many religious buildings across the region that can now reopen for individual prayers.

Gurdwaras were among many places of worship to close their doors to the public following lockdown restrictions being imposed on March 23.

The opening of places of worship for private prayer comes after a government announcement of the lifting of restrictions and has seen members of staff work to get the different buildings ready.

The Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara has been at the centre of a community effort to help vulnerable people, working with the Sikh Toy Appeal (STA) Foundation to help provide hot meals for those in need.

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Members of the STA Foundation joined with staff and volunteers at the gurdwara to ensure it was ready for worshippers through a deep cleaning project and distribution of PPE equipment.

Manny Johal, founder of STA Foundation explained what work had gone into cleaning and preparing the gurdwara.

He said: "We are so privileged to be able to serve our community with this act of seva this weekend with a team of 15 volunteers to deep clean the whole gurdwara for the reopening.

"Signs and PPE will be put in place under government guidelines and social distancing measures to ensure that all government guideline are adhered to by the congregation."

Manny, who is a member of the Gurdwara, also reflected on what the Sikh faith had missed out on during lockdown.

He said: "This will be a very emotional time as we have missed Vaisakhi 2020.

"This is one of our biggest celebrations in our calendar along and we were not able to pray at the gurdwara with the rest of the Sikh community.

"We are happy to be able to go back into the gurdwara, even in a small way."

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