Big-hearted businessman boosts street kitchen funds

Jason Rowan

A food kitchen for the homeless met its first fundraising target after a generous donation from a millionaire Derbyshire businessman.

Real Change Street Kitchen reached the £1,000 target on its fundraising page following a £520 donation from Energysave UK managing director Jason Rowan.

The money will help to buy equipment to keep it running, including flasks, toothbrushes, bottled water, socks and sleeping bags for the Leeds-based project.

Paul Todd started the Real Change scheme after finding himself one payment away from being homeless. He and a team set up a street kitchen in Leeds city square on a Sunday night to feed the homeless, with food donated by Morrisons or paid for out of the group’s own pockets.

He said: “The kitchen is a lifeline that provides peace of mind and offers some well-being. I decided to document what we do on Facebook and opened the Real Change Street Kitchen page, with weekly live videos highlighting what we do.

“Jason Rowan saw one our videos and instantly donated £520 to our Go Fund Me page meaning we hit our £1,000 target. From then on he kept in touch and thanked me for what myself and our crew are doing for vulnerable people. He was so enthusiastic about what we do and has offered to help in as many ways as possible for future kitchens, potentially around the country”.

The charity has now been able to set itself a new goal of £2,000.

Rowan, whose company is moving from Spondon to Ilkeston, said: “I saw the video that Paul posted and immediately offered to help. I hate to think that people are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

“Hopefully the money I donated will give them a boost and enable them to help more people to get back on their feet”.