A WILTSHIRE restaurateur has been praised for his selfless actions during the pandemic.

The Raintree, formally Taste of Bengal, has been under the ownership of Nasir Uddin since last summer.

Since then, he has worked to provide free or heavily discounted meals to dozens of worthy recipients.

Most recently, staff and volunteer vaccinators from the Devizes PCN group visited for a meal, joined by mayor Chris Gay.

And in April and May, after seeing photos of house fires in Hambleton Avenue and on Anzio Road, the Raintree again reached out and provided free meals to the displaced families involved.

Last year, they gave out free school meals to children, including food to their parents, and last June took to Facebook to track down the elderly victim of a horrific burglary.

With the help of the community, Mr Uddin was able to find the family of the woman, who had been threatened with a knife, and give her free food.

For Nasir, he simply wants to give back to the town he has called home for the last six years.

“There have been lots of people struggling over the last year, and not just because of Covid,” he said.

“I’ve been in Devizes six years now and I didn’t want to just do business, I wanted to be part of the community. This is a special place and we want to be a part of it.

“We keep an eye on the news each morning on Devizes Issues and Gazette and Herald, I check every morning to see if there’s anything we can do or anyone we can help.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: NasirNasir

Nasir, whose family lives in Bangladesh, says Devizes quickly felt like a home away from home when he moved. In the future, he hopes his family might have the chance to join him in Devizes.

“Starting with the Raintree was difficult last year, when Covid came we had no idea how long it would last.

“I thought maybe it would be a couple weeks, not as long as it has been. But even if some bits have been difficult, we are just happy to be back open now like we are. I want to meet more people in the community and become part of the town.”

Councillor Jonathan Hunter said Nasir was “a real asset to the town.”

“Our first ever meal in Devizes was at Taste of Benghal,” he said.

“We’d just sent the removal trucks away and needed something quick - since then we were smitten.

“Nasir is an incredibly warm and friendly guy and a real asset to the town.

“Not only is the food at the Raintree wonderful, but what he’s done over the last few months is just amazing, and he’s very humble about it.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Mayor Chris Gay is a regular at the Raintree, and joined volunteers from the Devizes PCN there recently.

The group enjoyed a free meal in recognition for their vaccination efforts.

She added: “Nasir has been doing a really great job in welcoming key workers to the Raintree as a small thank you, and in recognition of all their extra hard work over the last 18 months.”