The winner of our Captain Manchester Award, kindly sponsored by AutoTrader UK at the Palace Hotel on Friday 5th February was Krishna Patel.

Although Krishna sadly couldn’t make it on the evening, she was chosen to receive the award by sponsors AutoTrader because of her tireless work in her community.

Krishna is a Forever Manchester Community Ambassador. She received a Cash 4 Graft award of £250 for a Street Party where she shared her talents in cooking Indian Street food with her local community. Krishna has gone on to provide food for various events.

One of Krishna’s objectives when she came to the UK was to master the language and immerse herself in her local community without losing her traditional identity. Once the language was mastered her dream was to have a family and follow in her family’s tradition to be a business owner.

“My father was a well respected business owner and loved by our local community. I knew from an early age that to truly be happy in life you need to succeed in business and at home. Community is home to me.”

Krishna became a single parent and from there needed to dedicate herself to her family. Krishna moved to the Coldhurst Estate, where Forever Manchester’s Community Building team works, with her family and began to slowly build relationships with her neighbours close by. Krishna’s dedication to family included the parents and children of her neighbours and everyone’s children were welcome in her home. Her neighbour, Pat said: “Krishna has a beautiful big heart, her children are a credit to her, she will help anyone in the community and I love having her as my neighbour.”

Krishna never lost sight of dream to be a business owner and this was her next personal challenge. Food has always featured at the heart of Krishna’s life and her passion for cooking for her family and growing number of friends clearly showed. Krishna’s passion was Indian Street Food but understood that some of her Western neighbours thought it was too fattening or spicy. That is where her business idea came from. Krishna wanted to develop a healthy fusion version of her beloved street food to meet the needs of many but at the same time keep it as traditional as possible. Krishna attended a Social Enterprise event and felt that the best way to keep her street food authentic was to be able to deliver it on the street.

Krishna needed help from her neighbours to create some new dishes that was a fusion between British and Indian street food. Bombay potato pasties were a huge favourite neighbours and Krishna developed a way to bake rather than fry a lot of her street food so that it would also be healthy. Krishna then purchased a second hand van with the intention to kit it out and run her business from it.

Krishna obtained a Cash4Graft award of £250 to hold a street party to get to know the rest of the community and to introduce them to her Fusion Indian Street food and get their comments. The day was a great success. Her new community friends loved her food and those community connections have stayed.

Krishna has thought nothing of attending other events in the community bringing along a batch of her almost famous Bombay Pot Pasties for people to share. She will often not accept payment for them as she sees this as building her community and “to feed is to build”.

Huge congratulations to Krishna, who was a well deserving winner of this award!

If you haven’t yet seen the higlights from our Birthday Bash check out the video below: