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Tribune hampers deliver Christmas cheer

03 January, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Willie Deasy is presented with his hamper by Santa

CHRISTMAS joy was spread across the borough, thanks to the Islington Tribune’s hamper delivery.

Readers helped raise hundreds of pounds to bring a little cheer to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents who may have experienced a tough year.

The Tribune visited the Hillside Clubhouse in North Road, which helps people with poor mental health get back into work.

Kay Carter, Hillside’s manager, said: “For some people this is like a sanctuary.

Wayne from Hillside Clubhouse

“We are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day but for some people here they have no family, no friends and nowhere to go over the period.

“This is really appreciated and for some it’s the only thing anyone’s given them this entire year.”

Jean Harwood, whose hamper was delivered by Islington Veterans Association

Shell, who did not want her give her surname, was very happy to receive her hamper prize.

Peter Turner, who served in the Merchant Navy and the RAF

She said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this place. It does so much to help people. There should be more services like this.”

Jake Campbell, who also attends Hillside, said: “It’s been quite a year. I had a kidney transplant four years ago and it took a while to recover physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Chris Munday, who served in the RAF, picked up his hamper from Peter McCafferty

Mr Campbell, who used to work as a chef in five-star hotels, has recently been hired to work as a support worker for the Single Homelessness Project.

Ken Watts receives his hamper

He said: “Since seeing the work done here I know how much difference a little support can make to people’s lives.”
Jessie Gibson is an employment support worker at Hillside Clubhouse, who has worked as a psychiatric nurse.

Nahid from Hillside Clubhouse

She said: “Jake has been outstanding. When he came to us we could see from day one he showed his ability and transferable skills.”

Meanwhile, hampers – which were supplied by Sainsbury’s in Camden Road – were delivered at the Islington Veterans Association Christmas lunch at the Owl and Hitchhiker in Holloway Road.

Shell at Hillside Clubhouse

Chris Munday, who served in the RAF, and D-Day veteran Ken Watts were proud recipients of the Tribune Christmas hampers.

Jake Campbell and Jessie Gibson

Peter McCafferty from the Veterans said: “These hampers are really appreciated and have gone to very deserving members of the Islington Veterans Association and Islington Armed Forces Veterans Club. We hope they have a lovely time enjoying them.”

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