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Frampton Park soup kitchen that encourages youngsters to volunteer launches crowdfunder as demand grows

PUBLISHED: 14:31 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:34 05 February 2020

Volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.

Volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.

Archant

A soup kitchen set up on a Hackney estate to encourage young people to do their bit needs to raise £4,500 to meet growing demand.

Olu's Soup Kitchen was launched at the Frampton Park Estate Baptist Church by Linda Adesanya in May last year.

Linda, 27, knows what it's like to be homeless and says she felt the need to act after seeing the rising number of people on the streets.

"I used to be homeless myself and ended up in Crisis at Christmas so I know what it's like," she told the Gazette. "When I set up the soup kitchen we were doing it once a month but from this year we want to do it bi-weekly.

"We average between 50 to 70 people. Most are on the streets. I also go into hostels with flyers advertising the events."

Linda, fourth from left, with volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.Linda, fourth from left, with volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.

Linda, of Well Street, wanted to encourage people aged 18 to 30 to give back, so advertised for volunteers on Twitter and Instagram. She has now recruited a team of 12 to 15 people who give up their time to prepare and serve quality food, which is donated by charity City Harvest.

"The first 90 minutes of the day is spent cooking," Linda explained. "I'm a qualified chef but I also get different chefs coming in so we have a variety of food. There's a lot of Afro-Caribbean types of food.

"We've got people from all over volunteering. One woman, Elizabeth Newton, comes in from Heathrow.

"It's a great way to give back to the community. A lot of people have very busy nine-to-five lives but had always wanted the opportunity to get involved in something."

Volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.Volunteers at Olu's Soup Kitchen.

Linda has a system that means all volunteers spend time with the guests, going into the crowd to make conversation and make them feel welcome. And it's not just a good meal on offer.

"We also do CV workshops and have a lady who works in mental health who comes in to do wellbeing services," said Linda. "We also have a clothing bank."

The problem is Linda is paying for the venue hire herself, and now the events are more frequent it is taking its toll.

A Just Giving page has been launched hoping to raise enough money to pay for venue hire for the next year.

Beyond that, Linda hopes to run the soup kitchen on a daily basis, if required, and expand it beyond Hackney. The next soup kitchen is this Saturday at 11.30am.

To donate click here. Anyone wanting to volunteer can email info@olusoupkitchen.com. For more information visit olusoupkitchen.com or twitter.com/olusoupkitchen.com

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