Islington Council has provided Streets Kitchen, a grassroots group working to help the homeless community, with space for a new hub in Nags Head, as part of its ongoing efforts to challenge inequality in the borough.

Streets Kitchen have moved into the ground floor of a fully refurbished council property on Seven Sisters Road, which the council has equipped with a new commercial kitchen to facilitate the preparation of more than 400 hot meals per week.

To mark this occasion, a launch event was hosted at the site this week, attended by councillors, Islington Mayor, Jeremy Corbyn (MP for Islington North), as well as volunteers and service users.

In addition, the council has also arranged a session with professional chefs, who will provide Streets Kitchen volunteers with training on how to get the most out of the new equipment. This will help ensure that those experiencing homeless in Islington will be able enjoy warm, nutritious meals.

As well as food, the site will also be used to provide a wide range of other services, including:

Hygiene facilities, such as showers, clean clothes, and sanitary products
Homelessness prevention through guidance and referral to other services (including Islington Council and charities such as Shelter)
Healthcare, including regular surgeries held by medical professionals, vaccination days, sexual health screening, as well as drug and alcohol support
Streets Kitchen is a group that provides ‘solidarity not charity’ to the homeless community. Already an established and popular presence in the borough for more than four years, the group is able to reach people who often find it challenging to engage with more formal support services.

The two upper floors of the building will be used to house other community organisations, as part of the council’s partnership-led approach to preventing homelessness.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Housing & Development, said: “We’re determined to ensure that each and every person in Islington has a place to live that is secure, decent and genuinely affordable.

“We stand with our communities to ensure that they feel safe and inclusive, which is why our partnership with Streets Kitchen is so valuable. They have a fantastic record of supporting homeless people, by providing them with warm meals, hygiene facilities, and by linking them with other services that can help them into a permanent home.

“We’re delighted to have been able to support Streets Kitchen by providing them with space for a new hub here in Islington, and we look forward to seeing the benefits that this new space will bring to the homeless community.”

Jon Glackin, Streets Kitchen founder, said: “This is the start of a new chapter for us, and it’s great to be doing this in Islington because there is a great community here. Through partnership, with the council and local organisations – and by treating people with a little bit of dignity and respect – we can make change.”

The launch of the new facility comes after years of work from Finsbury Park councillors, Gary Heather, Mick O’Sullivan and Asima Shaikh. In a joint statement, they said: “Streets Kitchen does fantastic work with the homeless community in Islington and we’re very pleased to welcome them to their new base in Finsbury Park. This has come after many years of hard work and is a big boost to our work to make Islington a fairer place.”

Leave a Reply