Curry runners

22nd November 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Shocked by the number of homeless people on Oxford’s streets a Wadham student is enlisting support from the city’s curry houses to help provide food for those living rough.

  • Making a delivery

  • Wadham graduate student, Mustak Ayub

Mustak Ayub (DPhil Oncology) set up Curry Runners in 2015, collecting freshly made curry from local restaurants and delivering to homeless people living on Oxford's streets.

Over the past year, a group of five Curry Runners volunteers  distributed some 700 packs of fresh curry. They pick up the food and distribute it by bicycle around Oxford to members of the homeless community.

For its novelty and impact, Curry Runners Oxford was shortlisted by the Oxford University Student Union as the campaign of the year-2015.

Explaining his motivation for the project Mustak said: “I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh and I have seen people living on the street in all my life. But I did not expect it in the UK. When I came to Oxford, the most striking thing was the misery of homeless people on the street.”

“I have good contacts with most of the curry places in Oxford. I thought I would just use that connection to collect and distribute curry among the homeless people,” he added.

Currently Mustak and Peter Whales, a student from Somerville College, liaise with two local restaurants (Jee Saheb in North Parade Road and Saffron in Banbury Road) collecting five packets of curry once a week from each restaurant at the end of the evening and cycling it to people living rough.  

“I think such an initiative could be replicated in all cities in the UK. Someone just has to talk to the local restaurants,” said Mustak, who is hoping to expand the number of curry houses supporting the project in Oxford.  He plans to continue this scheme in Bangladesh when he returns there next year.

If you would like to find out more about this project or join the team of volunteers, please contact mustak.ayub@wadh.ox.ac.uk.