Shelter from the Storm, the charity for the homeless launched by Louie Salvoni from Espresso Service and unveiled by Caterer & Hotelkeeper last week, has now achieved registered-charity status and achieved unexpected success at its launch.
Its launch party at the world's first organic-certified pub, the Duke of Cambridge in Islington, was intended to highlight the need for £50,000 to extend the charity's work to a full seven-day hostel service.
On the night, just over £12,000 was either raised or pledged, with two organisations appointing the shelter as their official charity for the next three years. One is a beverage-trade company which will not give its name, and the other is a chamber of barristers.
Among various showbusiness celebs present were Hardeep Singh of BBC's The One Show, who has already volunteered to spend time cooking at the shelter, and two actors from TV's Holby City
Jeremy Sheffield said after the presentations: "You couldn't fail to be touched. It hit just the right note, demonstrating that we are all just one bad decision away from being homeless and that this affects people from every walk of life. What struck me was that when we all pull together as a community, we can move mountains and make real, tangible changes where it counts."
Amanda Mealing added: "This made it perfectly clear that any one of us could be homeless tomorrow, but Shelter from the Storm is clearly making a very real difference to the homeless in Islington. We need more Shelters like this and more people who are prepared to give just a little of their time and their money to give a hand up to anyone who has the misfortune to find themselves on the streets."
Among the trade visitors, Jim Harding of La Cimbali espresso machines said: "when most charity events are becoming corporate marketing opportnities, this was a case of real genuine people showing care and a will to support. Louie Salvoni and his team put together a presentation which was done with fun, laughter and compassion. Now, as we all sleep easy in our beds, they will very quietly still be doing his bit down there."
Louie Salvoni has commented that although the donations are valuable, he is still appealing for volunteers to simply go to the shelter and lend a hand.
Further details: Espresso Service/Shelter from the Storm: Tel: 0870 850 2112
By Ian Boughton