The prestigious British Kebab Awards are delighted to announce this year’s charity partner: UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity partner in the UK. The partnership will support refugees and refugee communities by raising funds that help UNHCR deliver humanitarian relief to displaced families across the globe.
The kebab industry has a proud history of successful integration and support of refugees. Those in this thriving sector, regardless of background, want to be respected and valued. Immigrant communities, through hard work and entrepreneurship, have woven themselves into the economic and social fabric of their receiving societies. Over time the kebab industry has transformed from an exotic taste to a staple for all.
It’s understood that small businesses have a role to play in supporting refugees and refugee communities. A nominee for the 2021 British Kebab Awards is a prime example of this: Musa Akan, aged 43, runs Duman Doner – shortlisted for Best Kebab Restaurant in South and East London – along with six further London restaurants and another in Spain. The serial entrepreneur arrived in the UK aged 16 from Turkey. As a Kurd, he experienced years of conflict and feared for his safety, as well as having few job opportunities in his home village. When he made his way to the UK alone, he spoke no English, but now speaks fluently and is currently teaching himself Spanish.
He employs more than 20 people in his restaurants, which are bucking doner kebab trends by cooking 100% meat horizontally on charcoal, giving the most authentic, healthy and delicious results.
The awards night will crown its winners on 26 October this year at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel where kebab outlets will have a chance to win one of 18 respected awards. The hosts for the awards will be BBC Radio 1 DJ and presenter duo Scott Mills and Chris Stark.
A raffle and silent auction on the night will help UNHCR to provide essential aid such as shelter, food, water and access to healthcare for those forced to flee, like families displaced by the recent fighting in Afghanistan, people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Welcoming the new partnership, Ibrahim Dogus, founder of the British Kebab Awards and Director of the recently formed Kebab Alliance, commented: When I came to Britain aged 14, as the son of Kurdish refugees from Turkey, I was immediately drawn to the familiar smells of a restaurant cooking my native cuisine. There, I found myself well-suited to the lively atmosphere of the kitchen and it was this first experience of the hospitality industry that set me on a path to opening up a number of my own restaurants and eventually to launching the Kebab Awards along with forming the Kebab Alliance. Our partnership with UK for UNHCR is exciting and will make a real difference to those in need.
Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR, said: “We are delighted to be the charity partner for this year’s British Kebab Awards, which are a shining example of how refugees and others coming into the UK enrich us all. Sadly, the number of refugees around the world has continued to increase during the pandemic so this is such a timely opportunity to raise much-needed funds and support for those forced to flee.”
Notes to editors:
- There are currently around 20,000 kebab outlets in the UK, supporting around 200,000 jobs. The kebab industry is one of the most inclusive food sectors in the UK, with many employees of Kurdish, Turkish, Greek, Lebanese, Armenian and other backgrounds.
- The kebab industry normally brings in more than £2.8 billion a year to the British economy, with more than 1.5m kebabs sold across Britain every day. There are also approximately 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK, with an annual turnover in excess of £750m.
- The Kebab Awards categories range from Best Newcomer and Chef of the Year to Best Kebab Van and Customer Satisfaction. Additionally, there are also nine awards to celebrate the best kebab restaurants in different regions of the UK. Longlisted businesses will compete against each other and a shortlist of 10 businesses for each category will be announced by the beginning of June 2021.
- For more information please visit: britishkebabawards.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @KebabAwards.
- For further information please contact Chloe White, OMNE: [email protected] or 01525 840 830
About UK for UNHCR
UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK, building solidarity and raising funds to protect refugees worldwide through UNHCR’s work.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Thanks to voluntary contributions from our UK supporters and partnerships, UNHCR teams can deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted nationality.
UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415). Learn more at www.unrefugees.org.uk