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How OXO Tower Restaurant has helped feed their local community

When OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brassiere reopened its doors on July 15 it would be natural to assume that until recently their kitchens had been silent and their staff sitting at home. But this is far from the truth. The restaurant has spent the past couple of months in full swing, helping feed their local community.

One of the many organisations the restaurant has been donating to is the social enterprise, Coin Street, who own and manage Oxo Tower Wharf.

With lockdown placing increased pressure on food banks within the capital, Coin Street’s community team stepped in and began delivering meals to the community.

Delivering to the community

Annette Telesford is a local resident and Venue Supervisor at Bargehouse. When lockdown came into effect, Annette saw that Coin Street was still doing a lot to help the community. This included arranging a food delivery service in the local area. Annette jumped at the chance to get involved and help out.

“Understanding the enormity of the situation, I wanted to do something that helped fix the problems that  lockdown had caused. I wanted to find a way to give back to my community.”

Annette began volunteering for the food delivery service. When Annette joined, the delivery service was feeding people with health concerns, disabilities, financial and shielding issues who really needed extra support. Some people were waiting 16 weeks before they received government support or benefits. They were also feeding many essential key-workers and families of people who were in St Thomas’ Hospital.

By helping to prepare meals and using her car to transport meals from the neighbourhood centre to  local households, Annette became an integral to project. However, she quickly realised that demand for food was outstripping supply, and they rarely had enough to go around.

OXO delivers the goods

As lockdown continued, Annette saw that calls for dozens of meals quickly turned into demand for hundreds.  The team were struggling to find ways to source enough food when, by chance, Annette bumped into the general manager of OXO Tower Restaurant; Nick Jarman while on her way home from volunteering.

Annette knew Nick from working at Bargehouse, and whilst catching up, Nick offered to help.

“Bumping into Nick was a game-changer. The restaurant was thinking about delivering fresh produce for the community and I suggested turning it into meals as a way he could help instead.”

After a few phone-calls the restaurant agreed, and began donating over 100 meals to Coin Street’s food delivery service every day. It meant that Coin Street was able to match the growing demand for food caused by the epidemic.

Social Enterprise in action

For Annette, the Restaurant donating food is a perfect example of what a social enterprise can achieve at its best. They used their time and resources to help the local community. As a result, local people were fed.

“Working with Bargehouse and being a local resident means I’ve built up relationships in the community. It was those relationships that meant that when I bumped into Nick, he wasn’t just a stranger, but someone I knew, a friend that could help”.

Thank you to Annette, Nick and the whole OXO Tower Restaurant team for stepping up during one of our most difficult times. They really went above and beyond to help those most in need.

OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brassiere is the latest addition to our list of neighbours who have re-opened their doors back up to the public. With the latest safety precautions in place, OXO is now ready and very much excited to take your booking here.

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