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There for you: James gives up spare time during lockdown to cook Sunday roast for folk in Bow

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 May 2020

James cooking the Sunday roast for residents at Coxley House in Bow. Picture: Rachel Cherry

James cooking the Sunday roast for residents at Coxley House in Bow. Picture: Rachel Cherry

Rachel Cherry

Office worker James Varley has taken a break from spreadsheets at home during lockdown to turn his hand to cooking as a volunteer at a mental heath project in Bow.

Frontline workers preparing meals at L&Q Housing's mental health project. Picture: Rachel CherryFrontline workers preparing meals at L&Q Housing's mental health project. Picture: Rachel Cherry

He has started cooking on Sundays at Coxley House residential scheme in Bow Road run by the L&Q housing association that he works for in Stratford, after completing food hygiene and safeguarding training before being allowed to volunteer.

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“Their usual cook has been having to self-isolate,” the father-of-two explained. “So I go down and making a Sunday roast for them. The staff are on the front line and it didn’t feel right to have spare time and not go down and help.”

The housing organisation has offered its staff the chance to help out at the schemes it runs after being inundated with requests to volunteer.

A nice roast ready to tuck into... thanks to James Varley volunteering as a cook. Picture: Rachel CherryA nice roast ready to tuck into... thanks to James Varley volunteering as a cook. Picture: Rachel Cherry

The experience for 39-year-old James is a break from lockdown life with wife Lorna and children Layla, 13, and Felix, 11, who are all healthy, so “it felt good doing something outside the home”. It also gives him face-to-face interaction with other people.


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