Brixton Soup Kitchen | Award Finalist
Mahamed Hashi | Solomon Smith
The Brixton Soup Kitchen is a grassroots organisation helping homeless people and Londoners in need. It provides food, support and company with no obligation attached.
Co-Founder Solomon Smith has been a Youth worker for the past 12 years, mainly working in Lambeth. In April 2013 he was nominated and won the South London “Our Heroes” award for his work with the Soup Kitchen. Later that year I also graduated with honours from a degree in Youth and Community work. He was introduced into the world of youth work through a key worker who was assigned to mentor him through school. He was always getting in trouble at school and was seen as an extremely disruptive young man but always felt that his mentor was the only one who took time to understand him. As a result he began volunteering as a youth worker in his estate in Brixton. Eventually he got into university. It was not until then that he was diagnosed as suffering from severe dyslexia. This meant that he had to change and adapt his whole approach to studying and learning. In his final year of university (2013) he set up a Soup Kitchen in Brixton with close friend Mahamed Hashi. That year was one of the coldest winters he had experienced and thought how are the people in the street going to survive? When his mum cooked him rice, peas, chicken and boiled potato he was good for the whole day. The question was why can’t we do the same for the homeless?”
Co-founder Mahamed Hashi has worked with a number of youth organisations in Lambeth including the local Council, London Probation Service, a number of charities and the local YOS (Youth Offending Service). The majority of these programmes are alternatives to custody aimed at tackling the offending behaviour of the young people. This programme addressed a number of issues including education, training and employment, developing interpersonal and social skills and most importantly the reduction of offending behaviour. He is currently co-director of the Brixton Soup Kitchen. He is also heavily involved in the following community groups in varying capacities. These groups include: the Lambeth Community Police Consultative Group (CPCG), the Lambeth Stop and Search Monitoring Group, [which he Co-Chairs, Special Select Committee member for Stop and Search (New Scotland Yard), Deaths in custody panel, London Probation Trust Forum, Territorial Support Group Community reference group (TSG CRG), the Independent Advisory Group (IAG ) for Lambeth police and the Black Mental Health Commission in Lambeth.
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