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Delicious home-cooked 'Railwayman's lunches' delivered to Ryde and the local community!

Ann and Ali out delivering Railwayman's Lunches

Meet Ann and Ali - our #CommunitySuperstars – who cook and prepare between 200 and 400 meals each week for the vulnerable. The ‘Railwayman’s Lunches’ consist of homemade soup and a roll, ham, cheese and tomatoes and a homemade cake or biscuit. All meals are prepared by the Gas Light Café which is owned by Ali Smith.

Ann - Dance Vibez

The women received a £10,000 grant from the National Emergency Trust. This is part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, and they can now continue with their hard work for the next few months. A huge thank you to Sarah 'Bobby' Lock for the funding adapted from Music On The Move - a South West Trains initiative.

Meals have been distributed across Ryde and further afield including Ryde Aspire, care homes in Ryde, The Bonchurch Club, Bay View Court, Craigmore, The Sands Hotel for the Homeless, St Peter’s View, Milford Bell to name a few.

Where do Ann and Ali get all their energy from? It’s not a surprise to discover that both women own small businesses. Miss Ann Abe runs Dance Vibez dance school and teaches at the Depozitory Ryde, Medina Theatre, The Heights Leisure Centre, Broadlea Primary School and The Gas Light Studio. She also takes part in charity events and West End shows and runs Afrodance Vibes.com, holding workshops for orphans all over the world.

Ali modelling a homemade mask

There is more! Ann and Ali have also started to make masks.

Like many people, both Ann and Ali have concerns about how they will keep their businesses going, although this hasn’t stopped them doing everything in their power to help others. Please keep small businesses alive and get behind #RydeUnitedonate now.

Photos by Graham Reading.

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