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Grate news as Shepherds Bush charity gets cheese market boost

Categoriesnews Businessnews, Communitynews

Image captionImage 1: Jules Kane, Fiona Cook, Lucy Cufflin, Waldemar, Iain Cooper, Jude Thompson and Chris Francis in The Upper Room's kitchen at St Saviour’s Church in Cobbold Road

Whey to go! Shepherds Bush homeless charity The Upper Room has been given a boost by the Chiswick Cheese Market.

The popular market has given the charity based at St Saviour’s Church in Cobbold Road more than £5,000 in the past year. The volunteer-run market also provides the cheeseboards for The Upper Room’s fundraising quiz nights.

Last Christmas, volunteers from H&F Foodbank sold Christmas decorations at the cheese market to raise £600 for The Upper Room.

In addition, the market has set up a funding line at Macken Brothers – the popular butcher’s shop in Turnham Green Terrace – to help supply The Upper Room with regular produce at cost price.

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Image caption: Image 2: Fiona Cook, fundraising manager at The Upper Room

Lucy Cufflin, a cookery writer and one of the cheese market’s founders, described The Upper Room as “our favourite charity”.

While Fiona Cook, fundraising manager at The Upper Room, said: “We are so grateful to the Chiswick Cheese Market for providing financial and in-kind support to us.

“The majority of our fresh food donations come from City Harvest and Felix Project, but they are facing increased demand from charities across London. It makes a huge difference to know that we have a back-up supply of fresh meat to draw on so that our chefs can continue providing balanced and nutritious meals to people who are experiencing homelessness.”

This link with Macken’s has also resulted in Midlands-based food company KTC Edibles donating 200 litres of cooking oil.

“We really hope that further support and links can be developed with other local businesses to support people in need. A huge thank you to all involved,” Fiona added.

The Upper Room

The Upper Room at St Saviour’s began life 30 years ago as a small-scale soup kitchen. Over the past year it has reported a sharp rise in demand for its services caused by the cost-of-living crisis. The Nourish Hub in Shepherds Bush has also provided three amazing cooks to provide cover for their permanent chef, who is off work with an injury.

As well as giving specialist advice and hot meals to homeless and vulnerable people, it offers counselling and therapy, and teaches ex-offenders and young ‘at risk’ to drive, to improve their employability and reduce their risk of offending/re-offending.

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Image caption: Image 3: Jules Kane, Lucy Cufflin, Fran Warde, Jo Pratt, Donna Freed and Damien from Macken Brothers (centre right) outside the popular butcher’s shop in Turnham Green Terrace

Cheese market

The cheese market celebrates the fact that Chiswick derives from Cheesewick – Old English for ‘cheese farm’.

Since launching in May 2021, it has built a loyal following of cheese lovers from H&F and Chiswick, while benefiting local charities.

“It was set up by 10 local women to bring cheese home to ‘Cheesewick’, help the artisan cheese industry and help keep the high street alive and vibrant,” said Lucy.

The next Chiswick Cheese Market is on Sunday 21 May, 9.30am-3pm at the Old Market Place, Chiswick High Road (nearest tubes, Turnham Green or Chiswick Park).

As well as selling more than 150 different cheeses, the market features kitchenalia, pasta, hot cheese toasties, chutneys, bread, crackers and charcuterie. With 40 stallholders from as far afield as Dorset and Bath, it is the UK’s biggest cheese specialist market.

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