ACS family

Running cook-a-long sessions for a brilliant cause

During March 2021, Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) partner, Rankeshwar Batta decided he wanted to support the One Million Steps for CES challenge run by  ACS charity partner The Cauda Equina Champions Charity.


The charity describes cauda equina syndrome as ‘a set of symptoms that are experienced when the spinal nerves are compressed in the lower back’. Symptoms range from back pain and sciatica, to bladder and bowel dysfunction. The charity work relentlessly to raise awareness around diagnosis and help people who suffer from the syndrome adapt. 


Like many charities, The Cauda Equina Champions Charity has had limited funding from the Government due to the pandemic. Rankeshwar knew any money raised would make a difference and would allow them to turn their ambitious plans into action. ‘One Million Steps for CES’ was all about getting people up and moving to raise awareness. But Rankey decided to interpret it a bit differently – he would encourage the ACS team to take steps to broaden their horizons.


Cooking together

Rankeshwar has a passion for homemade Indian cooking. He fondly remembers eating his mum’s pakoras straight out the frier paired with tangy tamarind chutney. Over the years, he’s picked up other recipes from family members, adapting them to his own lifestyle. Not many people have time to spend hours heating milk to infuse cardamom – especially busy solicitors!


So, when it came to thinking of a way to raise money, he had the idea of running Zoom cook-a-long sessions. He’d show other ACS employees and their families how to make an authentic Indian meal. Stuck at home during lockdown, the ACS family and friends jumped at the opportunity to try something new. Initially, Rankeshwar only mentioned it to a few people, but then as word spread, more people wanted to get involved.


Exceeding his ambitions

The positive comments came flooding in. Some people told him that it was the first time they’d cooked, ate and washed up together as a family during lockdown, while others said it lifted their spirits during this difficult time.


Rankeshwar knew every penny would make a difference to the charity, so he set a modest goal of raising £300. But the sessions went down better than he ever imagined, resulting in him raising an impressive £1,400.


"It was particularly pleasing to receive comments from people who had never tried to make Indian food at home before but said they really enjoyed doing so - from selecting unusual ingredients that they would never usually put on their weekly shopping list, to doing an actual shop in hope of finding what was needed, to actually cooking it the following week."
Rankeshwar Batta, partner at ACS

Top 5% of fundraisers

To thank everyone that took part in the cook-a-long sessions, Rankeshwar also created an eBook packed with traditional Indian recipes, from cocktails and mocktails, to chilli chicken and gajrela with stem ginger ice-cream.


ACS were also awarded the accolade of being in the top 5% of fundraisers across the UK with JustGiving for March 2021. This wouldn’t have been possible without the ACS family and friends coming together to support great causes like raising awareness of cauda equina syndrome.


Rankeshwar Batta
0121 212 7479
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