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Highgate Newtown Community Centre launches fundraising campaign to keep feeding people in need this winter

PUBLISHED: 13:05 03 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04 03 November 2020

Nafeisa Guleid, Sandeep Singh, Harry Mackrill, James Morrison-Corley and Sharon White helping out for HNCC. Picture: Highgate Newtown Community Centre

Nafeisa Guleid, Sandeep Singh, Harry Mackrill, James Morrison-Corley and Sharon White helping out for HNCC. Picture: Highgate Newtown Community Centre

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Highgate Newtown Community Centre has launched its winter food appeal – and hopes to raise enough money to feed those in need at Christmas.

Highgate Newtown Community Centre Covid response has supported Camden residents during the pandemic.Highgate Newtown Community Centre Covid response has supported Camden residents during the pandemic.

The plan is also, at this stage, to hold a number of socially distanced events to make sure people who would be otherwise alone or unable to celebrate have some festive cheer to look forward to.

Mags O’Reilly, operations manager at HNCC, told the Ham&High: “For a lot of people Christmas is a really bleak time of year at the best of times. This year, with times as tough as they are, it’s going to pretty bleak for a lot of people.

“What we are planning on doing is in the first instance that we have lots of volunteers who are going to cook Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.”

READ MORE: North London volunteers, councils and businesses pull together to feed families

Some aspects of the centre’s plans may change if the national lockdown continues, but Mags said that, regardless, it was vital to look after people however possible.

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“I’ve also been recruiting volunteers who will come and pick up Christmas dinner and take it to anybody who can’t get out,” she said.

The plan is to also use St Mary Brookfield church in Dartmouth Park on Christmas Day as somewhere to serving tea and coffee for a couple of hours in the afternoon, while for residents who can’t go out, volunteers will be on hand and in touch across the festive period.

Mags told the Ham&High the charity would be – lockdown permitting – looking to put on Covid-friendly events like film screenings for those who needed company over the festive period.

Long term, the aim at HNCC is to move from just being a food bank to help to address some of the underlying causes of food poverty.

“It’s about putting things in place,” Mags said. “We want to look at moving away from the food bank model to being a kind of community food project. We want to branch out into the community and make sure that people in our very lovely area don’t have to worry about suffering food insecurity.

“We have learned an awful lot about the community during Covid, Though in many ways it’s been an awful experience, that has been the silver lining.”

To contribute to HNCC’s Winter Appeal, visit highgatenewtown.org.uk/winter-food-campaign/


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