What’s important to me.
Time to share with you the causes I believe in and what I do to support their work.
If someone asked me where I came from, before going into a convoluted answer of being British, of Sri Lankan heritage plus a bit of this and that thrown into my genes, I probably would answer I’m from London.
Born in Greenwich and living in North London for pretty much all of my life, being a Londoner is one of the labels that I absolutely own.
My parents made their home in London in 1959. My mum has lived here longer than she lived in Sri Lanka!
At a very young age, I travelled to the centre of town every Saturday. My mum was a dressmaker and she had to pick up supplies from the button maker, the zip shop, John Lewis and Dickens and Jones fabric departments before meeting my Dad in his office in Soho. I was entranced by the busy bustling noise around me. The people on the streets, the way that some walked with a clear purpose, others with an ambling pace which often frustrated my mum as we navigated our way in and around Oxford Street.
My first job was in the biggest branch of Marks and Spencers in Marble Arch. At 16 taking the bus into town for a half-day work in the food department. It never crossed my mind to apply for a job in a local store. I wanted to be among the busyness of that store on my favourite street.
Later as a teacher, I started my career in a school in the heart of Paddington, working to support many families who were homeless and living in bed and breakfast hotels in the area.
My love affair with London continues to this day. This past year, I have missed parts of the city, the river, the art galleries, museums as well as the markets. All of which I came into contact with as I travelled in and out of town each week to coach and train clients or at network meetings.
I am acutely aware that this pandemic has absolutely devastated the lives of so many of the people who I came across on my work each day. London has some of the highest rates of poverty in any English region. There are over 700,00+ children living in food poverty in the capital. This year due to the impact of the pandemic, many more will go hungry.
Through my networking, I met Susie Spires who inspired me to do something to support the many people who have been adversely affected by the decimation of so many industries. It might be small but I want this to be consistent. So each month I am making a donation to Feed London. Feed London is an amazing charity whose aim is to support 1000’s of families with Feed London Food Boxes. These food boxes will contain healthy fresh ingredients to support families.
What is it that I love?
The ingredients are fresh. Recipes are given that families can prepare together. Supermarket vouchers are given so families can source their own produce.
This ties in so closely to my own childhood. We did not have an abundance of food, but what we had was home-cooked, sourced from markets and small shops and most importantly prepared with love.
Food binds people together. Preparing food with families create supportive relationships and positive memories. Londoner or not, if you are interested in finding out more about Feed London follow the link to find out more and before you leave, make a donation.