A restaurant owner will prove he has a heart of gold by raising tens of thousands of pounds for a vital machine for Peterborough City Hospital.
Farooq Mohammed, who runs the Maharani’s restaurant in Hampton, is aiming to collect £70,000 to buy the Cardiac Echo machine - which will help diagnose heart problems suffered by children.
To raise the cash, he will donate all the money from meals on Wednesdays to the campaign - and has also designed a ‘privilege menu’ for the rest of the week to raise even more money.
Farooq - who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for his years of charity work, said: “I’ve been here for 14 or 15 years now, and I wanted to do something for the hospital.
“I went to Peterborough City Hospital and asked them for their wish list.
“They said they wanted a Cardiac Echo machine, which would be able to help premature babies and other children.
“My son was born two months premature, and was looked after at hospital for several months, so I know how important it is.
“The hospital said it would cost £70,000 to get one of these machines.”
The first charity Wednesday took place at the start of the month, and in just a few days Farooq has already raised more than £2,500.
The campaign’s progress will be displayed on a large chart in the restaurant.
He said: “It has been really well received so far, and a lot of people have been getting involved. We made £700 on the launch night alone.
“We are hoping it will grow and grow over the next few weeks, and more and more people will come and enjoy a curry while raising money for the hospital.
“Raising £70,000 is a very daunting task, but we are sure we can do it. It will be brilliant to be able to sit down in five years time and know the machine is saving lives.”
Consultant Dr Tim Jones, from Peterborough City Hospital, praised the campaign, and said: “This is a critical piece of equipment enabling us to provide care closer to home and avoid the need to send sick babies elsewhere.
“We thank Farooq for his generous offer and the whole team here is delighted that he has chosen to support the paediatric service.”
The campaign was boosted by a £1,000 donation from the Peterborough Lions organisation last week.
In the past, Farooq has raised thousands for good causes in Peterborough.
The 50-year-old father of four regularly held ‘King’s Dinners’ to support local residents, as well as holding events for charities including the Samaritans, Peterborough Lions and Shine.
For more information about the restaurant of the campaign, visit www.maharanis.co.uk