Dalstoner mixes cocktails with Hackney charity

Dan Beaumont, left, Dee O’Connell and Anne Currell Managing Director Currell Residential 100214 © david.altheer@gmail.com

NECK A tasty tropical cocktail, sell your property for a profit and feel good about it. How does that happen?

It’s the idea of civil servant Dee O’Connell. She has set up Dalston Bridge, a charity to help the less-fortunate of Hackney, with the support of local businesses leaders, including Dan Beaumont of Dalston Superstore and the people at Currell Residential in Kingsland Road.

One of its first initiatives has been the Dalston Thing, a rum-and-ginger beer concoction to be served at Dalston Superstore, Voodoo Ray’s, the Alibi, Ruby’s, Birthday’s, Visions Video Bar,  White Rabbit, Servant Jazz Quarters and the Shacklewell Arms for about £7.50. One pound from every cocktail will go to local charities supported by Dalston Bridge.

Currell Residential, O’Connell tells Loving Dalston, will suggest to vendors that they donate to the fund. The estate agency will then match every donation with 50% or 10% of its fee, whichever is lower.

All the locally involved people were working free of charge.

O’Connell has lived in Dalston long enough to see the district change to what estate agents term “vibrant”, code for an influx of affluent and well-educated, potentially affluent young people. “Despite that,” she says, “there is still plenty of deprivation in Hackney and I thought it was time to give something back.”

Last weekend Hackney people packed out a meeting at the Rio in an attempt to save a Georgian terrace in Dalston Lane from demolition. Such actions, along with the Dalston Bridge campaign, show how misleading is the portrayal of the area as merely a haven for hipsters who care for little except retro style and the latest laptop.

The oft-misused word “gentrification” is easy to bandy about. There is much more than that to the young incomers.

David Altheer 100214

* Picture: Dan Beaumont, left, of Dalston Superstore, Dalston Bridge founder Dee O’Connell and Anne Currell, of Currell Residential.

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