EastEnders star Kaur Garcha sobs over feeling ‘helpless’ on Africa trip after quitting soap

EastEnders star Kaur Garcha sobs over feeling ‘helpless’ on Africa trip after quitting soap

March 11, 2022

EastEnders star Gurlaine Kaur Garcha posted an emotional video to Instagram after visiting a hospital in Malawi.

The star, 28, who’s best known for playing Ash Kaur in Albert Square, said she felt “helpless and emotionally drained” after her experience delivering relief to people living in poverty in the African country with charity Khalsa Aid.

The actress has been taking a break from her work on EastEnders, which she joined in 2019, to carry out the charity work and has been updating her 40,000 followers on her journey.

Posting a video of herself wiping away tears as she spoke to the camera, Gurlaine spoke about how she felt grateful of her privilege and thanked the NHS for their work.

Captioning the video, the star wrote: "On day four in Malawi we visited a hospital. This was by far one of the toughest experiences of my life. I was unsure whether to talk about it, but I want people to know trips like this aren’t all fun and laughter.

"It’s tough, emotionally draining, and you constantly feel a sense of helplessness. when i set out on this trip I wanted to be real and document the reality of each day. so it’s only fair I share this too.

"We set out with sacks of food and 200 meals for each patient. as we distributed it to each ward i’ll never forget what I saw. people laying on metal bed frames, torn mattresses, some on the floor.

"Kids severely underweight. new born babies not knowing they now exist in a world that is so unfair. the elderly left there frail and lonely.

"These patients get one government meal a day, usually some grains. that’s not enough on a normal day, let alone when you’re unwell. I don’t share my feelings for sympathy, I share with the hope people watching realise how lucky they are, how privileged we all are and how AMAZING our nhs is. count each day as a blessing."

She also posted some photos of herself and charity staff helping to distribute food in the hospital.

In response to her video, one fan wrote: “Thank you for deciding to share this. I’ve been watching all your posts and videos with a huge grin. It’s been so wonderful to see all the positivity about your trip but this bring it all home. We are so lucky.”

Another added: “This is inspirational. Such a great cause you are working on”.

Gurlaine has been at the centre of huge EastEnders storylines – including her family disapproving of her relationship with Iqra due to their different religions.

Viewers last saw Ash Panesar the Square in January but the character was given a low-key exit and Gurlaine has not said whether she's quit for good.

Last year, Gurlaine spoke about auditioning for the soap and being told she’d landed the role.

The actress told Inside Soap: "It’s still surreal! I’ve been on the show for over a year, and continue to have moments where I think, ‘I can’t believe I’m here'.

"You get actors who want to go to Hollywood, but genuinely, my dream was to be in Walford with the likes of Jake Wood (Max) and Adam Woodyatt (Ian). And now, my castmates are like a second family.

"When I auditioned for EastEnders, I said to my Taekwondo instructor that I can really relate to Ash.

"She’s strong, kind, has her head screwed on and knows what she wants. Ash isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and I think that’s great."

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