MEMBERS of Southampton’s Sikh community opened their hearts to the city’s homeless.

Worshippers from the Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Gurdwara temple took to the streets to distribute food to rough sleepers.

Now they are extending their generosity by setting up an outreach scheme to regularly help the homeless.

The group dished out a selection of hot food and drink including curry, soup and fruit to those sleeping on the streets in the city centre, Shirley and Portswood. It was organised by members of the Digwa family in memory of elder members Ranjit Singh, Jarnail Singh and Jit Singh who were some of the first Sikhs to settle in Southampton and help establish the city’s first Gurdwara in Clovelly Road in the early 1960s.

Around 14 members of the family pooled together money to provide meals for 50 people sleeping in shop doorways and on pavements.

Distribution of food is a key cornerstone of the faith’s ancient Langar system, which nurtures equality by encouraging people of all backgrounds to share food together in Gurdwaras.

Family member Ronnie Digwa, who lives in Southampton city centre, said: “It gave the volunteers a great sense of pride to give something back in honour of their Sikh faith.

“Everyone was very grateful for the food and what we were doing.

“With the help and support of the Gurdwara we now hope to set up a voluntary project within the local Sikh community with the aim of raising awareness and encouraging volunteers to help the homeless on a regular basis.”