Suki’s passion to help, cooking curry for 200 Druck colleagues, wins her Care Award!

Suki’s passion to help, cooking curry for 200 Druck colleagues, wins her Care Award!

3 min read

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays.  To help welcome you back to work, I want to shine a light on one of the kindest most selfless people I’ve ever had the good fortune of meeting -  Groby based Assembly Operator, Suki Dhillon.  

Suki, with the help of her colleague, Mahendra Chauhan and his wife Nayna, plus Suki’s husband, son and two daughters, have been creating curries for Druck colleagues every year for the last 15.  Suki enacts a military operation that Claire Aitchison would be proud of and supplies enough curry to feed 200 colleagues at Druck.  That’s right, 200!!!

There’s more…  Suki and her family provide the plastic plates, the cutlery, drinks plus provide enough home-made rice pudding to ensure that all 200 team members get a desert too!  

To provide this much food and drink requires two car-loads full of rice, vegetables, spices, curry powder and milk.  Cooking the curry at their home in Thurmaston, Leicester, they transport the food, drinks and all the cutlery to the Druck canteen.  (Suki was keen that we thank the canteen staff for providing her space to serve her curry every year!)

The whole operation takes around three days – day one is shopping, day two is preparation and day three is cooking, serving and washing up!  

What happens to the leftovers?  Well after the event in November 2022, Suki made breakfast for the Aerospace Team – they had pakoras in a roll with chilli sauce and chutney – apparently they went down a storm! 

Those that choose to dine on Suki’s curry are free to make a donation to local charity, LOROS.   By the way, Suki spends one afternoon a week volunteering at LOROS!

I’ve not yet had the pleasure of sampling Suki’s curry, although in typical fashion, she has offered to cook for me!  By all accounts her curry is amongst the best you’ll taste in the UK!

This is not the first time that Suki’s generosity has been highlighted.  Remember those dark days during COVID, pre-vaccine?  Half the site was working from home, while the other half would come into work, and hope that our strict social distancing policies would prove effective.  Suki spent many hours creating 165 masks using just her old-fashioned sewing machine.  She handed the masks out to those Druck colleagues that were on-site.  Furthermore, if you thought that COVID might impact on her curry, think again!  To keep in line with COVID guidelines Suki provided curry packed-lunch boxes for 200 instead!

Just to be clear, all the ingredients + cutlery for the curry and materials required for the masks are entirely self-funded by Suki and her family. Suki wants nothing in return for her time and investment – just a smile!

But that’s enough from me – what did Suki say when I met her?

“I love helping people,” she said.  “What inspires me most in life is seeing the smile on people’s faces.  There’s nothing more heart-warming and rewarding than making someone’s day a little better.”

She continued: “I joined Druck in 2008.  As soon as I arrived, I was made to feel so welcome.  We’ve got a great culture and a great team.  So every November, starting back in 2008, I cook curry for the site!  It coincides with the Birthday of my Sikh God, Guru Nunak, who taught me to earn an honest living and share what you have with others.

“I love cooking and take great pleasure in feeding my family every day.  Creating the curry for my lovely team-mates at Druck is now something of a family tradition.  I don’t consider it a chore – it’s very enjoyable and the feedback we receive is very positive and rewarding.”

News of Suki’s selfless acts reached the Druck Leadership Team and she was presented with the Care Award at the All Hands Meeting in November.  Claire Aitchison and Gordon Docherty also personally thanked Suki at the “in person All Hands” session mid-December in front of some of her colleagues – she received a rapturous round of applause by those in the room. She was very proud to have received the recognition.  

“It was most unexpected, but when I learned of the award, I burst into tears and rushed home to tell the family.  The award is as much for them, as it is for me.  I’m so proud of my family – I’m eternally grateful that we get on so well and that we all take pride in helping others.  I’m also so grateful to all my colleagues at Druck.  They are wonderful - it’s like one big family.”

Finally, I asked Suki, if the good work will continue.  “Of course – the smiles make it all worthwhile,” she replied.

Personally, Suki made a huge impression on me – she is one of the most selfless, inspirational people I have ever met.