Stoke Newington street sweeper given £500 Christmas bonus by mystery couple

PUBLISHED: 09:47 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:47 21 December 2017

Mustafa was told the good news one week before Christmas. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mustafa was told the good news one week before Christmas. Picture: Polly Hancock


A friendly Stoke Newington street cleaner was “stunned” to pick up a £500 Christmas bonus thanks to a mystery couple who wanted to reward his fantastic work.

Mustafa has received a very nice Christmas bonus from a mystery couple whose street he cleans. Picture: Polly Hancock Mustafa has received a very nice Christmas bonus from a mystery couple whose street he cleans. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mustafa Demir was told the news at the start of the week and was over the moon with the generosity shown by the strangers, who live on his beat but whose identifies he doesn’t know.

The family man, who has lived on the Somerford Grove Estate in Palatine Road, Stoke Newington for 15 years, will use some of it to fly to Turkey to visit his mother.

He told the Gazette: “It’s great to hear that local people appreciate the job I do. Some local residents always say hello and smile, which I like, but I would never have thought someone would say thank you like this.

“I’m stunned that this has happened but very very happy!”

The generous couple said they wanted to give something back to Mustafa for his hard work, but didn’t want him to feel obliged to them – which is why they’re staying anonymous.

One told the Gazette: “Mustafa is somebody who cleans in our area and always waves and we have chatted to him over the years.

“I’m not sure if everybody else does but hopefully people will start looking at the people cleaning their streets and realise they are human and are doing a great job. If that’s a positive side effect of this then it will be welcome.”

They said they decided to do something nice because Mustafa was out come rain or shine performing the essential role.

“There are people who have opportunities to be recognised and there are those who do jobs in all weather,” they said. “It’s a pretty lonely job but it is absolutely essential. One thing we have noticed in Hackney since we moved here 30 years ago is the street cleaning has improved substantially. It is a different borough in terms of presentation and the way it looks. A lot of that is down to street cleaning and the refuse collection.”

The couple have not stopped there, either. They have donated £5,000 to be split over the next five years, with £500 going to the workers voted the borough’s favourite street cleaner and favourite bin collector.

Town hall streets chief Cllr Feryal Demirci said the money would help recognise unsung heroes.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

National League: Eastleigh 0 Leyton Orient 0

FA Cup quarter-finals: Swansea City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3


I have written today to the chief executives of the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust having seen little in the way of effective action from either of these agencies to tackle the oil spill on the River Lea, writes Cllr Ian Rathbone, Lea Bridge ward.

Yesterday, 22:30

The 46-year-old elaborated on his thoughts that it takes a long-term process to breed a winning mentality rather than one successful domestic cup run

Yesterday, 18:00

Arsenal have encouraged supporters to follow advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after they were drawn to play CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.

Yesterday, 18:00

London Lions clamped down on the Flyers right from the start as they cruised to a comfortable League win.

Yesterday, 17:01

Sainsbury’s in Dalston is under fire for ditching its free parking for customers.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists