An organisation which helps the homeless in Southend has celebrated a religious festival by handing out refreshments to the public.

Soul Aid, a not-for-profit organisation which has been helping the homeless in Southend since 2017, celebrated the Sikh festival of Chabeel Day, also known as martyrdom day.

The festival marks the story of Guru Ji - the fifth Sikh guru who was burnt alive in 1606.

Guru Ji was made to sit on a burning hot plate and had hot sand poured upon them.

Despite all of this torture, Guru Ji did not complain and instead engaged in deep meditation.

Instead of mourning the day, Sikhs now honour it by giving out free cold sweet drinks to the public and the event is held nationwide every year.

For more information about the charity Soul Aid, visit