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Fat Macy’s: Finsbury Park supper clubs are a tasty way to tackle homelessness

PUBLISHED: 12:18 04 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:23 04 October 2016

Meg Doherty, Kenny Mackenzie and Fred Andrews prepare food for the supper club at Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, which helps young people into temporary accommodation (Picture: Dieter Perry)

Meg Doherty, Kenny Mackenzie and Fred Andrews prepare food for the supper club at Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, which helps young people into temporary accommodation (Picture: Dieter Perry)

Dieter Perry

A Finsbury Park social enterprise is tackling homelessness in the capital by giving hostel residents a leg-up in to permanent accommodation.

Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, where a supper club series is helping young people into temporary accommodation (Picture: Dieter Perry)Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, where a supper club series is helping young people into temporary accommodation (Picture: Dieter Perry)

Fat Macy’s, which is holding a sequence of supper clubs at Blighty Coffee in Blackstock Road, employs tenants of the North London YMCA in the kitchens and front of house at its events.

The project, founded by earlier this year by Meg Doherty and Fred Andrews, pays employees through a trust fund that can only be used towards a deposit or rent on accommodation.

“We’re trying to create a tangible pathway out of homelessness,” said Meg.

Due to a combination of high London rental costs and housing benefit policy it can be difficult to find the money for a deposit even for those in full employment, she added.

The supper club at Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, which helps young people into temporary accommodation. Head chef Fred Andrews (Picture: Dieter Perry)The supper club at Blighty Coffee, Blackstock Road, which helps young people into temporary accommodation. Head chef Fred Andrews (Picture: Dieter Perry)

“There’s no way I would be able to move out of the hostel unless something like this was here,” said Kenny Mackenzie.

Kenny, who has completed four shifts with Fat Macy’s, spoke to the Gazette as he prepared food on Saturday ahead of that evening’s supper club.

This sequence of supper clubs is focused on Mexican cuisine. The company has also taken on a number of catering assignments.

As well as employment opportunities and the chance to save for a deposit, the Fat Macy’s project also aims to provide those involved with the skills necessary to thrive while living independently.

“You can give a much more tailored approach than in the wider hostel environment,” Meg explained.

Even the name of the supper club, based on an anagram of “YMCA”, was the creation of one of the hostel’s residents.

After the current sequence of supper clubs at Blighty Coffee ends, there are plans to hold a number of Christmas events at Clerkenwell dining spot the Printworks Kitchen in Rosebery Avenue.

For more information about the supper clubs, look up Fat Macy’s on Facebook or tweet @fatmacys


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