Construction Works Force Charity To Shut Down
Two London community groups face a shut down as their vehicle entrance is blocked by building works outside of the new Goldman Sachs HQ in Holborn. Food For All, who rely on vehicle access to cook and distribute 2,000 free meals daily to the homeless, and neighbour Learn For Free, say that they were given virtually no notice and are now left helpless for at least the next 12 weeks whilst renovation of Plumtree Court is completed.
Food For All director Peter O’Grady said: “we are unsure how we will cook tomorrow. We are dependent on the road into our kitchen otherwise we can’t receive deliveries or take food out to distribute. 2,000 people will miss out on their daily lunch, and for many we are a lifeline. Fences were erected by the builders today, and we’re running out of time to find a solution. We would need to relocate to a temporary kitchen to keep operating, but we don’t have the money to do that unless someone steps forward to help.”
Over the last year Food For All has welcomed hundreds of volunteers from the City’s banks as part of corporate social responsibility programmes. On seeing the entrance blocked this morning, one such volunteer, who wished to remain anonymous stated: “some of these corporates are so poor… all they’ve got is money.”
Learn For Free manager Amir said: “It’s amazing that the council can give one day’s notice and just block off your entrance.”
The works are being carried out by construction company Riney, which has previously been awarded Compassionate Constructor certification, on behalf of the City Of London.
Peter O’Grady from Food For All continued: “I can’t believe the builders and Council are so cold. Brendan Riney was from my home town in Ireland, he only passed away a few years ago and he was a great philanthropist. He’d be furious to see something like this happening.”
Both Riney and the City Of London have as yet failed to reply to the concerns raised by the two groups.