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A different kind of paper round: CNJ supports elderly and vulnerable with delivery drops

Connecting those who have something to give, with those in need

24 March, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

John and Elayne Telstar ready for a delivery at Branch Hill at a safe distance

AS communities across the borough faced the enormity of the task we have to tackle together in the face of the coronavirus crisis, volunteers have thrown themselves into helping others.

With the challenge of making sure people have enough food to get by – especially older people and those with long term health conditions and larger – the New Journal has stepped up its efforts to provide relief where it is needed.

In the last two days, we used the community connections our staff have developed over more than 30 years to

  • take food donated by Nando’s before it closed to a social housing estate
  • provide a link between hotels in King’s Cross who had excess food due to cancelled bookings to those in need
  • take curries donated by the Monsoon curry house to families who would normally see their children fed by free school meals
  • help the London Irish Centre with its food drops to vulnerable residents living on their own
  • deliver bread given by Bear and Wolf to a crisis centre set up at the Queen’s Crescent Community Centre
  • answer individual appeals for help from vulnerable residents unable to get their shopping

The New Journal cannot get to every door and is just one of many organisations in Camden which is volunteering help. We have resolved, however, that we cannot simply sit on the sidelines when we have so many connections built up over the years as the borough’s free, community newspaper. We must, where possible, play an active role, alongside the vital printing of important public information in these most difficult of times.

We took Bear And Wolf bread to the Queen’s Crescent Community Association crisis centre, where Graham Wade, the admin manager was happy to add it to donations

On Monday, New Journal reporters collected ready cooked chicken meals, provided by the Portuguese restaurant chain Nando’s, and visited the Branch Hill social housing estate in Hampstead to give older people a hearty and warming lunch.

TRA chairwoman Debbie Killingback is self-isolating with her teenage son – and said the food had come just in time.

“Because I now cannot go out, there are many here who I cannot help directly who I would otherwise be checking up on,” she said. “We are very grateful for the newspaper’s support.”

A tweet from the London Irish Centre

In another estate in the north of the borough, which the New Journal is not naming to protect confidentiality, there are more than 20 people who are over 75 living alone. The New Journal took round emergency packages of warm lunches, bread, eggs and milk yesterday (Monday).

One resident said: “We are a tight community, always popping in and out of each others homes – but we can’t do that now. We usually look out for each to her – but we can’t do that now. And at the moment we can’t even get the basics.”

Another pensioner, who is partially sighted, told the New Journal of her relief when we arrived with a cooked chicken and ingredients for more meals later in the week. Drops are being made at a safe distance in accordance with government advice.

If you think you can help but do not know how or who to send support to, the CNJ may be able to assist. Please email



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