By Charles Harrison
A children’s charity is taking over the running of a café to raise funds following the increased financial pressure on charities as a result of Covid-19.
Clubhouse café in Burgess Park will be taken over by Burgess Sports on Monday April 19, offering hot drinks and food.
It isn’t just a way of raising funds – it allows Burgess Sports to continue providing a community service.
“We have hired seven people, all of whom were unemployed in March,” said Burgess Sports CEO Alejandra Teixido,
“Now they will be paid a salary.
“We’ve looked carefully at the chain of suppliers to ensure they match our principles.
“I’m confident that the café will help – but it won’t solve the whole thing.”
Burgess Sports has staged holiday sports programmes, after-school clubs, and healthy meals for 5-12 year olds for 10 years – as well as an ambassador programme which gives children aged 13 and up experience in coaching and leadership.
“Our children are bright, intelligent, and so so amazing,” said Mrs Teixido, who has worked for Burgess Sports for eight years.
“We hope that the community will support our friendly, vibrant café, knowing that they can help provide a better start in life to local children with every cup of coffee.”
All profits from the café will go directly to the running of the charity.
Since its inception, Burgess Sports has worked closely with local underprivileged families to understand what they need; Camberwell, Peckham and Walworth, which surround Burgess Park, include some of the 10% most deprived areas in the country.
“That’s the way you have to do it,” said Mrs Teixido. “By involving them in the journey. Every program has been built by them.
“It’s not just about sports – if someone wants to be excellent, we try to promote that – but it’s all about the beauty of sports in the way it connects communities, building bridges where there are gaps culturally or economically.
The charity also supplies meals for local families.
“There is a massive food insecurity problem in our area,” said Mrs Teixido. “It was very evident before Covid, and is now even more of an issue.
“We have a very tiny kitchen, but we do our best. We delivered over 6000 meals last year.
“Families work closely with us – they are able to suggest ideas for the menu so that our chef can cater for everyone on a budget while representing different identities and cultures.”
Its volunteers have now adapted their approach, providing ingredients and recipes so that families can make the meals at home.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected the vulnerable in society, and the charity sector as a whole, said Mrs Teixido.
“Our impact is impressive, but we’re a tiny organisation, so it’s difficult to put us in the radar of big organisations that would usually fund other big organisations,” she said.
For more information about Burgess Sports, visit www.burgesssports.org
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