If you've been reading Harringay Online lately, you can't fail to have missed the story about a group of local residents seeking to control the development of housing on the St Ann's Hospital site. Rather than leave it to the whims of a property developer, the St Ann's Redevelopment Trust wants to ensure affordable housing is built in a development that has the community's interests at heart.
They recently ran a successful fundraising initiative to get the project off the blocks and pay for architects to draw up plans. As the deadline for the funding neared, it looked like the project would come up short. To ensure that it didn't fall at the first hurdle, a few local businesses were approached to see if they could help out.
First to come forward with a generous donation was Eren Korkomaz, joint owner of Hala Restaurant. I asked Eren what made him so keen to support StArt. He told me, "For me housing is a basic human right. When I first came to the UK I had nothing. I was working as a kitchen porter and it was very difficult for me to afford housing. They were tough times. Now it's even harder for people and we should all do whatever we can to help people afford decent housing.
"It's also important for the community to get this development right. I live locally and my son is at Chestnuts school. So making sure the development provides a real community benefit is important for me as a family man and a community member.
I really hope the group make a success of it and I'm happy to help out in any way I can."
It's all too easy for hard working local businesses to miss out on opportunities to support the community of which they are a part. So when I hear about businesses standing alongside the local community, it gives me a warm feeling inside. Lets' raise a glass to the team at Hala.
Other businesses also stepped up to the plate to help out - more about them next week.
St Anns Redevelopment Trust - www.startharingey.co.uk
Hala Restaurant - www.halarestaurant.co.uk
Eren's a top bloke.