Meet the Team at MGRP

Meet our dedicated and motivated volunteers who are always ready to help our local community

Asma Haq

Co-Founder & CEO
Asma Haq is a Chemical Engineer with extensive experience in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East. Having moved to the UK in 2009, Asma completed her Master’s in Education and has since been teaching Quran, Chemistry, Biology and Maths to the local community - free of cost. Asma is also a mentor to anyone seeking guidance and advice on matters relating to career, job support, financial and personal matters. Over the years, Asma has actively supported multiple families in shelters, victims of domestic violence, widows, pensioners, elderly, asylum seekers and refugees.

Asma is also actively involved in developing, managing and operating several social projects of MGRP including free hot meals to the needy, youth engagement activities and community engagement and integration programs, with the purpose of encouraging and attracting the talented, committed and hardworking members of the local community to participate in the well being of the entire community. 

Saud Siddiqui

Co-Founder & Director
Saud is a qualified accountant with over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. Saud started his career working for one of the big 4 accounting firms and subsequently with one of the world’s leading insurance company. Saud now runs his own financial advisory firm, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, with offices in 4 countries and 175+ employees. Saud is also a qualified internal and IT auditor accredited by international professional bodies.
Saud is well travelled around the world, having worked in more than 20 countries, and uses his professional and personal experience to advise the members of his local community on related matters. Saud also tutors the younger members of the community on Accounting and Maths subjects.  

Dorothy Gander (Dot)


Dot is a retired nurse and has been actively volunteering for the Marks Gate Relief Project for over 6 years. Dot has a wealth of experience in team building and community connections whilst striving to build strong foundations of community cohesion through real human encounter.

Dot manages the clothing, toy and book bank for MGRP and is a front-line worker delivering hot food, groceries, clothing and warm bedding to widows and pensioners in Marks Gate, Collier Row, Ilford and Dagenham. 

Thuvarakai Devi Sivasamy (Aunty Devi)

Kitchen Host & Rice Chef
Aunty Devi is a retired carer who has been volunteering in the soup kitchen, community catch up and cooking clubs for 2 years. Aunty Devi is a great rice chef and has supported the cooking clubs with mouth-watering rice recipes such as turmeric rice, yoghurt rice, coconut cream rice and vegetable pulao rice.

Devi is a resident of Marks Gate and is passionate about growing healthy fruit, vegetables and herbs of medicinal value. Aunty has been offering Marks Gate residents a beginner's guide to gardening including basics on how to choose plants for weather, soil preparation, watering hacks, featuring pots and flowers around a theme, and use of multi-functional edible herbs and flowers.

Hasina Begum

Station Chef
Hasina has been cooking in the Marks Gate Community Kitchen since 2022. She is an expert in South East Asian cooking including Biryanis, Pulao rice, lentil curry, spicy noodles and fried okra. Hasina has been working to drive positive food change in the Marks Gate Community by developing best practice on key food issues.

Hasina's biggest challenge in life was to learn enough English to be able to effectively communicate socially-oriented, healthy and sustainable food recipes within the community. After completing ESOL level 1, 2 followed by English speaking and listening skills; she has now successfully embarked on her dream career in catering, cooking, serving and hosting- all through her immaculate culinary skills!

Shakina Tandra

Kitchen Facilitator and Recipe Co-Creator
Shakhina's name is almost synonymous with the Cooking Clubs and Community Lunches held in Marks Gate. For 2 years now, Shakhina has been co-creating delicious, nutritious, budget friendly, nut and allergen free recipes that suit the needs and wants of Marks Gate residents.

Being a mum of two, and a TA by profession, Shakhina has a keen interest in creative and culinary arts, imaginative design, and expressive styles in creating murals, landscapes, canvas painting and fine pencil sketching using a variety of mediums, colours, tones, lines and textures. She also believes in using art in cooking and has a keen eye for presentation and delivery of co-created recipes.

Shakhina enjoys working with children and uses her creative energy to make craft boxes, sewing on canvas and henna designs.

Monoawara Begum

Kitchen Host and Junior Chef
Monowara Begum is infamous for her mouth-wateringly delicious onion bhaji recipe! Monowara prepares the crisp, melt in the mouth onion bhajis using a comprehensive range of authentic Indian spices and condiments. 

Monowara is a confident home cook and loves to share her cooking experiences that inspire and educate residents to co-create stunning meals that are healthy, sustainable, and delicious. In her spare time, Monowara teams up with other volunteers in the Clothing Bank to wash, iron, mend, and pack clothes for the MGRP Bridal Project.

Nargis Akter

Kitchen Support and Junior Chef

Nargis Akter is hands on in the kitchen with cleaning, clearing, decluttering, disinfecting, packing, sorting, and serving with patience, stamina, and passion! Nargis has an eye for detail in the kitchen- such as heat control, exact measurements, portion sizes, precision, presentation, and quality of food.

Nargis is an all star with kitchen inventory management and pantry stock control. She uses her business acumen to control costs around the kitchen, including sourcing, packaging, and running costs. In her spare time, Nargis enjoys gardening and growing her vegetables from seed. She spends the winter months composting her organic kitchen waste, followed by preparing the seedlings in the spring. She shares the fruits of her harvest with friends, family, and neighbours during the Summer-Autumn term.

Basra Khan

IT and Media Coordinator
Basra Khan is a graduate from University of Kent and volunteers as the IT and media coordinator to MGRP. Basra has a passion for photography and IT. Basra’s innovative skills have bestowed MGRP with invaluable advice, ideas, plans and designs for future projects including posters, advertising, marketing, promotions and social media communications.

What makes Basra's contribution and skills ever more amazing is the fact that Basra is
visually impairedBasra's disadvantage has been his motivation to challenge stereo-type and he is a motivation for anyone who wants to pursue their dreams no matter how big the challenge.

Muhammad Hussain

Web Designing and IT support
Muhammad Hussain is a 13 year youth IT and web development specialist and is responsible for managing and maintaining our IT network. Muhammad has a passion for computers and has been coding since the age of 8.

Muhammad is seeking career path and progression through his voluntary work with MGRP. He is passionate about training in UX (user experience) design, animation and computer gaming illustrations.

Muhammad also volunteers with the Sea Cadets and enjoys fundraising for their appeals. He is trained in First Aid, Fieldcraft, camping and various water-based activities.