A popular Indian takeaway is set to offer cooking classes to people living in a homeless shelter.

The team at The Ruby restaurant in Braintree High Street will be running masterclasses at the New Direction centre in Bocking End as part of a two-month campaign to raise both awareness and cash for charities based in the town.

Dubbed Curry For a Cause, the campaign will see The Ruby donate five per cent of each sale to New Direction and the nearby First Stop Centre.

Plans are also in place to host two fundraising curry nights at the First Stop Centre in the coming weeks.

Restaurant manager Mohim Uddin, 20, said: “These charities work closely together and we thought it would be a great idea to provide some cooking masterclasses.

“It creates something for the people living there to enjoy as well as learning new skills to take with them when they are able to live on their own again.

“Cooking is so important to make sure you eat properly and I hope it will be a lot of fun.”

Mr Uddin says the main aim of his campaign is to encourage fellow businesses and residents in Braintree to support independent charities working not only in the district, but across Essex.

He opted to support First Stop centre following a conversation with a regular visitor to The Ruby and is now hopeful other businesses will follow suit and choose a charity to support.

He said: “One of our customers who I’ve known for a year now and she told me about the first stop centre because she had been a client there before.

“I’ve seen her progress and seen what she’s been through so I came here to see what it was all about. I was really impressed by how warm and welcoming was and could see the great work they do here.

“Our campaign is all about raising awareness, we want people from the community to get involved with this.

“There are a lot of people who might need help or have already been helped by a local charity. They are so important to the community."

Rachel Stone from First Stop Centre added: "I think this is a great idea and think it will be a success. Small charities like us don't spend a lot of money and have to be selective with how they use it.

"Its massively important to get the support of people because it can make such a difference. Something like a business can do so much good for an independent charity like us. It doesn’t have to be massive."