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Charitable cause could calm your conscience as you down Dalston cocktails

PUBLISHED: 12:31 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:48 12 February 2014

Voodoo Ray's where the Dalston Bridge charity fund was launched.

Voodoo Ray's where the Dalston Bridge charity fund was launched.

Archant

A pioneering new charity fund is setting out to help the less fortunate in Dalston share in the area's new-found prosperity, arising from its housing boom and vibrant night-time economy.

The Dalston Thing cocktailThe Dalston Thing cocktail

Dalston Bridge has been formed by businessmen and residents with the aim of making it easy for the people who work, live and play in the creative Hackney neighbourhood to make a difference to their community – just by drinking a cocktail or making a donation when selling their house.

All the money will go into a single fund for distribution to five local charities which work to address some of the area’s most deep-seated problems, such as youth unemployment and homelessness.

Dalston Bridge is the brainchild of Dee O’Connell, who moved to the area 15 years ago. Having been struck by the rapid changes over the past few years, she decided to turn some of Dalston’s most popular pastimes into engines for charitable giving.

She said: “I have long been fascinated by the changes in the area and wanted to create a new way to share the benefits – despite all the great opportunities locally, Dalston is still the 21st most deprived of London’s 621 wards.”

Dee O'Connell who came up with the idea for Dalston BridgeDee O'Connell who came up with the idea for Dalston Bridge

She has been “overwhelmed” by the support and generosity of major businesses such as Currell Residential and Dalston Superstore, and wants to encourage other enterprises to become involved.

Six venues

The initiative, the first of its kind in the area, was launched on Monday night at Voodoo Ray’s in Kingsland High Street – one of the trendy nightspots which have signed up to take part, along with the Dalston Superstore, The Alibi, Ruby’s, Birthdays and The Shacklewell Arms.

All six venues will serve the Dalston Thing golden rum and melon liqueur cocktail, with £1 from every drink sold going to the Dalston Bridge charities.

Estate agent firm Currell Residential has promised to match donations made to Dalston Bridge by customers selling properties at its Kingsland Road office.

The charities to benefit will be Hackney Pirates, which aims to boost young people’s literacy skills by providing one-to-one support, Bootstrap Campus, which offers creative work placements for unemployed young people, Hackney Winter Night Shelter, which provides hot meals, bed and breakfast and support to rough sleepers, Studio Upstairs, which helps people with severe mental distress through art therapy, and youth employment organisation Circle Sports.

For more information tweet @dalstonbridge.

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