A charity supporting Hackney’s Caribbean community is celebrating the completion of a £250,000 refurbishment of its headquarters.
Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation (HCEO) saw its Stoke Newington premises receive vital repair work, including rewiring of the building, new lighting and fire prevention measures, and an updated door entry system.
Two previously unused rooms have also been redecorated, with HCEO hoping to sublet them to other voluntary and community organisations.
The work took place between the summer of 2021 and January 2022, during which time the charity received a rent holiday from Hackney Council because of the associated loss in income.
HCEO suffered setbacks during the Covid-19 pandemic, with increased demand for services such as meal deliveries and help with shopping.
Day services manager at HCEO, Beryl Pusey, said: “Sadly, the effects of Covid have been quite devastating. We lost over 20 members during this period. Many members have been isolated and locked up at home.”
Pusey added: “As restrictions have lifted, members have been looking forward to attending our services again.
“We are very grateful to Hackney Council. We will continue to provide a much-needed service to our older people in the borough.”
HCEO was founded in 1985. Through numerous activities, including a lunch club, exercise courses and day trips, the near 40-year-old charity seeks to improve the quality of life for older people in the Caribbean community.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, who visited the charity to mark the completion of the refurbishment, said: “Hackney Caribbean not only offers vital services for vulnerable people in the community, but it is also one of my favourite places in Hackney to visit, so it was great to be back.
“It represents the best of Hackney through the spirit of community, companionship and camaraderie which is always on show.
“This vital investment will enable Hackney Caribbean to continue providing vital support to our older residents in a refurbished building for many years to come.”
For more information about Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation, visit hceo.org.uk.