Frank Wang is back with his coffee stall outside Bethnal Green station
PUBLISHED: 12:50 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 20 June 2019
A coffee vendor who lost his business after his power supply was cut off has started trading again thanks to a fundraising campaign by the community.
Frank Wang, 53, who has served coffee outside Bethnal Green Tube Station for almost two decades, was forced to sell his cart to keep a roof over his family's head after Transport for London stopped his electricity supply.
Customers and members of the London's Chinese community rushed to Frank's aid last August following his woes that began when an upmarket café moved into a Tower Hamlets Council-owned converted toilet block feet away from his stall.
The father-of-two who was left shaken at the loss of his livelihood.
He also gained support from prominent public figures including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Bethnal Green MP Rushanara Ali and Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, backing the #SaveFrank social media campaign to enable his return.
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The campaign raised more than £10,000 and has now ensured he can return to business after a 15 month hiatus as his supply has now been restoresd
Frank said: "I cannot thank the supporters and local community enough. You saved me and brought me back to the place that I love, where I've worked for so many years. I will be forever gratefully for your kindness and generosity."
Sam Dodd, who helped to lead the campaign to save Frank, said of the success: "The community of Bethnal Green is sick and tired of watching familiar, independently owned institutions shut down to make way for gentrification. Frank's victory is the peoples' way of saying no."
Sir Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote who helped to drive the campaign to success, added: "This has been a long campaign, but one which was won with community support. It's brilliant Frank's back. This goes to show what communities can achieve by working together."
The official relaunch takes place tomorrow at Bethnal Green Tube Station at 1pm.