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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

Archant

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 HancockMustafa 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.

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