London has been battered this week, with civil disturbances and terrible violence on our streets. Some areas have suffered terribly, with homes and businesses lost in moments, leaving people in despair, fear and hopelessness.
One such business is Paradise Gems of Tottenham, a small family run jewellers, established for over 25 years. They have worked hard to build a business and were well respected and trusted in their community.
Sadly, Paradise Gems was looted and gutted by fire on Saturday 6 August during the disturbances in Tottenham.
Hazel Farmiloe (daughter of founder Steve Farmiloe) called the Absolute Radio breakfast show hosted by Christian O’Connell on Thursday 11 August as part of a cash giveaway promotion that saw 4 callers a day win £500 to spend how they wished. Just before Hazel called, they’d given £500 to a Metropolitan Police officer from Lewisham (known only as WPC Vicky) to spend on a night out for her and her colleagues as a thank you for their efforts to keep Londoners safe during the riots.
Hazel emotionally told how her family had spent 25 years working 6 days a week to build their business and how they’d been left devastated by the loss of their livelihoods. Christian gave her the £500 without hesitation.
Then WPC Vicky came back online to say that she and her colleagues had decided to donate THEIR £500 to Hazel and her family to help them.
Read more here: http://www.tottenhamjournal.co.uk/news/policewoman_touched_by_tottenham_riot_family_s_plight_donates_500_1_992060
Christian then offered listeners the chance to bid to come in on the show one day, be part of it and ‘do what they wanted’ on air (and take away his headphones he’s used since starting the show almost 5 years ago!) if they’d support this appeal.
They gathered bids of £500, £1500, then £2000 until they hit the last 25 minutes of the show today (Friday.)
And that’s where we came in.
In the dying moments, and with the noisy support of the Craker Media & Bastows Family, Frank called the show and offered £2500 to help the Farmiloes get some part of their lives back, and to try to help them see that good people will help good people. Frank's bid was successful, and arrangements are being made to get the funds to Hazel and her family as soon as possible. We hope it makes even a small difference and helps make their weekend look that little bit better than it might have done.
We'd also like to acknowledge the sterling work done by Tottenham MP David Lammy, whose presence on the streets of Tottenham on Saturday to show support for his constituents and the Police helped many feel that someone in authority really cared about residents' safety and wellbeing.
About the show:
If you’re not a regular listener to Absolute Radio's Breakfast Show, let us sum it up: slickly anarchic! They are a strong creative team who work hard to be very involved with listeners, have encouraged people to get involved and who have a very loyal and active following on air, Twitter and Facebook. Find them at @OCBreakfastShow on Twitter.
CHRISTIAN O’CONNELL: Head man. Funny, sharp, self-declared shabby dad but rather a cool dude. Loves Southampton FC, great music and good friends. He developed a background on local and hospital radio before heading to XFM and then on to Absolute. He's @OCRadio on Twitter.
RICHIE FIRTH: Exec producer. The butt of most of OC’s jokes. Hardcore Arsenal FC and pie fan. Known to frequent Greggs. He's the Snack Genius king, and remains ever patient and tolerant of OC's teasing. Richie tweets as @iamcaptainchaos on Twitter.
MAGGIE DOYLE: Travel and traffic/ production. Smart, funny, glamorous, Irish, and has a legendary Mum in Mammy Doyle. Gets stick from the boys. Was unfairly handicapped in the mobility scooter grand prix by being made to tow a caravan. (Yes, with a mobility scooter.) Mags works hard to keep order and is a heroine to every lady listener. She's the one and only @themaggiedoyle on Twitter.
ANDREW BAILEY: Newshound. The lovely Bails has a perfect radio voice and he works hard as head of news and as a lecturer in journalism too. He's a Liverpool FC supporter, so clearly enjoys a good laugh, and has a mischievous streak a mile wide - just go along to Beer and Cake Club and you'll never hear the news in the same way again. Follow him under his name @bailsbails on Twitter.
If you're on Twitter, please seek out the #helpHAZEL hashtag, and do get involved in Making London Beautiful by following @riotcleanup for news on how you can help local communities recover from the senseless actions of a minority.
London is a city filled with heart, soul, life and laughter. It cannot be a place of violence and fear, and it is up to us all to do our bit to make our city a place to be safe in.
Our thoughts are also with those affected by violence in Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Leicester, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Be happy in your cities, treat people well, and cancel out some bad stuff by extra-specially nice to at least one person every day.Be safe and happy.