Neasden charity founder continues to help people four years after losing her headquarters
PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:04 22 October 2015
A tireless charity giver from Neasden is still bringing joy to countless people despite losing her headquarters four years ago
Dame Betty Asafu Adjaye, who lives in Bentham Walk, ran her Mission Dine Club (MCD) in Fry Road, Harlesden, for 25 years holding lunch clubs, social events and hospital visits for the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
Today, the 60-year-old travels from place to place by bus and on foot to offer the same MDC services after Brent Council demolished the vital popular centre in 2011 to expand a school.
A chance meeting with the Euphorium Bakery in Hampstead four years ago, allowed her to continue her missionary work delivering bread and cakes to Brent’s most vulnerable residents.
She said: “I go to disabled peoples homes and give them my tins. They used to come to my centre. Mission Dine Club continues to support the elderly and vulnerable with some home and hospital visits.”
The Ghanaian born Dame was honoured for her services to charity in 1997 and was the first black woman to hold the title.
She set up the MDC in 1985 from the kitchen of her small flat to take care of older people.
With funding from the Conservative party and help from the National Lottery she was able grow her charity taking the lease of a plot of land in Fry Road in 1996.
She built a community centre on the site believing it to be a permanent home.
Ikea, the Swedish DIY giant, rebuilt extra rooms and supplied cooking items and utensils, but it was all reduced to rubble when the council needed the site for a school expansion plan.
The Christian organisation Youth With a Mission (YWAM), wrote to Dame Betty last month thanking her for her generosity and donations and the “amazing impact” she has on people’s lives.
The group has been working with homeless people at the Salvation Army in Manor Park Road, Harlesden, every week.
Mats De Maertelaere, from YWAM, wrote: “We are so thankful for the partnership with you we have enjoyed over the last year receiving bread, sandwich and pastry donations from Euphorium Bakery.
“Your bread donations have provided us with daily blessings, so that we no longer need to purchase bread for our training programs. The more important recipients of our partnerships with you are the 35-65 people each week in our homeless outreach ministry who receive special cakes and sandwiches. We are personally so thankful for your willingness to share out of your abundance and meet our needs.”
Dame Betty said: “God is lifting us now. People from all over the world are writing letters to thank me. When I looked at it I wept, I didn’t know my work would continue. I thank God for bringing all these people to my life.”
Cllr Reg Colwill, conservative councillor for Kenton, said: “She’s a fantastic lady, she shines in a room. You don’t get many people like that come along and when they do they make an impact.”