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Video: Pete Doherty lends support to King’s Cross charity shop that feeds the homeless

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 June 2013

(From left) Peter O'Grady, director of charity Food for All, Pete Doherty, and Jennie Matthias, manager of Matchless Gifts charity shop

(From left) Peter O'Grady, director of charity Food for All, Pete Doherty, and Jennie Matthias, manager of Matchless Gifts charity shop

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A newly opened charity shop in King’s Cross that helps to feed the homeless has won support from rock star Pete Doherty.

Pete Doherty at the opening of Matchless Gifts charity shopPete Doherty at the opening of Matchless Gifts charity shop

Matchless Gifts supports Food For All, a London charity that, with the help of Hare Krishna monks, provides more than 1,000 meals a day to the local homeless community in Camden and Islington.

The charity venture has won the backing of celebrity patron Doherty, who found fame with the Libertines and later formed Babyshambles.

The singer, who once dated supermodel Kate Moss, was guest of honour when the store opened last month and he will raise further funds for Food For All at Brixton Academy gigs this September.

Peter O’Grady, 49, director of Food For All, said: “Pete’s manager is a good friend of ours – there were a lot of people happily going by our shop trying to get a photograph of him at the opening.

“Our aim is to assist those in need to improve their quality of life. It is about rehabilitation and redemption, subjects an artist like Pete is both artistically and personally versed in.”

Mr O’Grady said that homelessness has risen by 25 per cent in the past year, with many unable to find employment or claim basic welfare benefits.

He appealed for donations of sellable goods for the new shop.

“Lots of people have stuff they don’t really need or they don’t really use, so rather than ask people for money, we are asking for goods that are not needed, to recycle and put back into the community, with the proceeds given back to the community,” he said.

“It’s a win-win. You are diverting stuff from going into landfills and getting wasted, and at the same time you’re putting it to a really good cause.

“People can see just around the corner, in York Way, that because of their donation, the needy can come here for meals.”

Matchless Gifts, in Caledonian Road, is managed by Jennie Matthias, former singer of Eighties all-girl band the Belle Stars, who is starting a Share and Wear project providing suits for job interviews.

A number of other musicians have visited the shop, including former members of punk rock bands the Slits and the Clash.

The charity shop was originally a day centre for homeless people, but it was forced to close when council funding was lost.

Food for All’s van distributes meals to the homeless from Monday to Saturday, in Kentish Town at noon, in Camden Town at 1pm and in King’s Cross at 2.15pm.

* To find out more visit www.foodforall.org.uk


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