The volunteers at Ekota Academy play a huge part in the sporting club providing excellent grassroots community programmes.
For young people there’s cricket, football and martial arts, and for the elderly there’s Zumba and fitness classes for women, and walking sports.
Volunteers at the Academy which serves Redbridge and Barking & Dagenham have worked for several years to offer coaching and services to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
To help deal with austerity, the winter fuel crisis and the severe financial challenges faced by people, the volunteers are using the Emerald Bistro Cafe at the Ekota Hub to provide company, warmth, friendship and a free hot drink to locals.
The Warm Bank is an initiative arranged to help beat isolation and tackle loneliness and mental health amongst vulnerable people.
Visitors wishing to participate in this programme should upon arrival mention to staff that they’d like a free hot drink.
The Emerald Bistro will also be open on Christmas Day to host local people on behalf of Ekota Academy.
CEO Mizanur Rahman commented, “This is an entirely volunteer led service and we are pleased that Ekota Academy can support our neighbourhood.
“We are proud of our community and we understands the challenges, needs and issues. This is a great opportunity for our team to do something worthwhile during a time when people are facing unprecedented daily challenges.”
Imdad Basit from the Enerald Bistro added, “It is embarrassing that we live in a society where so many people are left so unsupported. It is really sad.
“It is because of this that small business owners with big hearts refuse to stand by and watch things go from bad to worse. We look forward to welcoming the community.”
Ekota Academy and Emerald Bistro – Goodmayes Park, Aberdour Rd, IG3 9PG.