Humble Peterborough restaurant owner given British Empire Medal for charity work

A Peterborough restaurant owner who has given thousands to charity has been honoured for his work in his community - but remained modest saying others deserved recognition more than him.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 10:30 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:40 pm
Pictured at a charity meal in aid of the Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy unit at PCH held at Maharani's in 2013 are (front), Mohammed Farooq, Nicola Jones, and Lesley Kalina ENGEMN00120130925195730

Mohammed Farooq, who runs the Maharanis restaurant in Hampton, has been given the British Empire Medal for his charity efforts.

The 50-year-old father of four said he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ to receive the honour.

He said: “I received a letter at the end of November. It was a white envelope with ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ on it. I said it can’t be from the tax-man, their envelopes are brown!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I anxiously opened it, and it told me I had been given the honour.

“I told by youngest son - he was the only one who knew.

“My plans are to keep it a surprise for the rest of my family. I am a tennis fan, so I am planning on suggesting we look to see if Andy Murray has been given a knighthood, and then scroll down to find my name.”

Mr Farooq said he will find out when he will collect his award later in the year.

He said: “There are a couple of ways I raise money for charity.
“One of the ways is I will be put in touch with a charity if, for example, someone has passed away from cancer.

“We will organise a King’s Dinner for friends and family - and all the money for the meal will go to the charity of their choice.

“We have done this with a number of charity’s in the past, including the Peterborough Lions, Samaritans, cancer charities and Shine.

“I also give money to the Magic Breakfast charity, which provides a breakfast to underprivileged school children.

“I support the scheme at Winyates and St John’s Schools in Peterborough, and another school in Middlesbrough.

“I am sure there are other people out there who do more for charity and their community who are far more deserving than me for this honour.

“It is all about helping the rest of the human race.”