Rachel Rumbol and Kiosk MM Factory have been announced as the joint winners of Elephant and Castle’s ‘local hero awards’, set up by community project Elephant Says Hi.
Nearly 150 people cast their votes for those who were an essential part of the COVID-19 community response.
Having set up Neighbours in Need, Rachel Rumbol has made over 1,700 hot meals for local residents and is still going. The project was crowdfunded to deliver hot meals to those in need together with local café Louie Louie.
She has also supported Meals for the NHS, providing over 4,000 meals for NHS workers unable to access shops and cafes during lockdown.
One nomination received by the organisers explained: “She has shown incredible leadership during this time, offering her skills as a chef to help support the whole community, from the elderly and homeless to school children and NHS workers. A proper hero.”
Joint winner Kiok MM factory, part of Mercato Metropolitano, remained open throughout the lockdown, with Abramo Tezgazzi praised by many nominees for knowing many customers by name, being happy to chat and lend a friendly ear. The kiosk was selected for its customer service, work ethic and sociable, welcoming staff. It has also been involved in collaborations with the Mayors Fund for London, Pembroke House, Age UK and Lendlease.
One nomination said: “I have been at work for the NHS throughout the pandemic and lockdown, working long hours and craving normality, and this kiosk remained open, offering upbeat conversation and good coffee.
“I am so thankful that I have been able to pick up my morning coffee on my walk to work. It has really helped start my day on a positive note, and he has even offered an NHS discount during uncertain economic times. Just really thankful for the Kiosk MM Factory!”
Runners up include: BEZA, for its “genuine desire to support the community every day and during the crisis” by cooking meals for NHS, homeless and vulnerable people; Amy Gray the owner of Dragon Castle for her work making free masks for NHS cancer centres; Super Arts Academy’s founder Irene Hayes for online support during lockdown for those interested in performing arts, the charity Hatch Enterprise for its continuing business support, and Pembroke House’s Richard Galpin for his commitment to getting food to families in need.
For more information visit www.elephantsays-hi.com