During times of adversity, you often see the best of people. Even though this is a trying time for many of us, knowing that other people are in greater need of support and guidance provides focus to our own life. This is the case for a restaurant owner in Stoke Newington who has been working hard to support vulnerable people in the local community and beyond.
Tom Jackson is the owner of Perch N16 which is located on Stoke Newington High Street. Tom was proactive in dealing with the current situation, closing down the restaurant before the Government advised restaurants to close.
Tom has experience working in the care sector for a decade, so he has first-hand knowledge of the industry and the challenges it faces. Knowing there would be significant challenges for the care sector right now, he initiated Perch’s Dinner Dash service.
This service is currently providing 300 professionally cooked meals, and this is served up three times a week. The meals are delivered to care homes, and to people who are vulnerable and unable to shop for themselves.
There is a lot of support for the work carried out at Perch N16
At the start, Tom was unsure of what the reaction would be, but within seven days, 40 social workers had gotten in touch with him. Funding for the project as initially covered by Tom and the restaurant, but there is now a crowd funder in place. The extent of support for the project can be seen with more than £4,000 worth of donations to the fundraiser, but more funds are required.
Tom spoke to the Hackney Gazette about the fundraiser, saying; “The costs aren’t too bad. But going forward now we can only carry on doing it as long as donations keep coming in. As a business we’re now losing £1,500 a week because of coronavirus, although the government’s £25,000 grant will help pay off some of the debts racking up. But as a new business in the area, it’s amazing to see the community spirit in Hackney and Stoke Newington.”
There is no doubt a substantial part in why so many people local life in Stoke Newington and Hackney is down to the community spirit. There are many parts of London to choose from. While the cost of houses will always be a critical factor in where people live, there is a need for people to feel at home.
The local community spirit is a major part of Stoke Newington life
The work of restaurants like Perch N16, and the support of residents, is a huge reason why so many people make Stoke Newington their home.
The work carried out by Tom has been praised by the East London Foundation Trust. Alice McCreadie of the organisation also spoke to local media, saying; “Tom’s meal service at Perch has been an absolute lifeline for the vulnerable people and unpaid carers I am working with. People who are in their 80’s, with underlying health conditions, or in financial crisis have been provided with great quality hot meals on the same day as requested, and continue to be supported by this fantastic service. As an NHS worker, being able to offer my clients daily hot meals from Perch has made a huge difference; I hope this priceless community action receives the support it needs to continue.”
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