Amir Khan’s charity drive continues during coronavirus crisis

Tackling Britain's rough-sleeping crisis could be the missed opportunity of the coronavirus outbreak.

Since the pandemic struck these shores in March, hotels across the country have been turned into homeless shelters.

Vulnerable people have been brought in from the cold to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and in the process provided a stability long missing from their lives.

But as the government's unlocking programme gathers steam, questions remain about what will happen to these same people in the weeks ahead.

This week, former world champion Amir Khan has been traversing the country with his charitable foundation to deliver food boxes.

On Thursday he travelled from his home in Bolton to Peterborough and then on to South London where the Best Western in Crystal Palace has opened up two-thirds of its 300 rooms to those in need.

"We've done a lot of work in the north of England so we decided to come down to London," Khan tells Mirror Fighting.

"Bolton was the first place we did something and then we started going across the country.

"We've been delivering food boxes, drinks for the key workers and face visors for the doctors, as well as gloves and masks."

Khan, 33, has divided opinion since he burst on to the scene at the Athens Olympics when he won a silver medal at the age of 17.

But away from the ring his foundation has helped countless people both in Britain and in Pakistan.

"My family has been doing a lot of charity work since I was young, they've built houses and schools for people, and I realised I wanted to start helping," he adds.

"We've built orphanages all over the world and we've built over 300 water wells for people to have drinking water.

"I could see the smile on peoples' faces and I wanted to get that same respect one day. It's a good thing to do because we are very fortunate to be in the position we are.

"I feel God has put me in this position for a reason. Maybe it's a test God is putting us through to see how much we're going to help people around us.

"God's given me this name so I'm going to use it in a positive way to help less fortunate people.

"I don't think people are aware of this side of me, they only see me for my boxing.

"People have known me as a boxer, but I'm not doing it to show people, I'm doing it for myself, to make God happy and for good karma."

Khan has not fought since last summer and intends to wait until crowds are allowed back into arenas before taking to the ring.

And in the meantime, he hopes other celebrities can follow his lead and help those less fortunate.


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