TV chefs dish up a surprise for Preston Windrush campaigner Glenda
Local hero Glenda Andrew became a national TV star when three celebrity chefs dished up a special treat for her on a prime time show.
The Windrush pioneer, who serves more than 400 free meals to needy people in Preston every week, found herself in the spotlight on the BBC’s One Show after friends nominated her to receive the programme’s weekly One Big Thank You award.
Glenda, co-founder of the Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants group, was surprised on a live link by TV chef Ainsley Harriet as she prepared soul food dishes at the Xavier Sanctuary in Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood.
Then Rustie Lee joined admirers talking about what an inspiration she has been in the city during the past two years. And finally Levi Roots, of Reggae Reggae sauce fame, added his own bit of spice with a special message in praise of Glenda.
“It’s been crazy since it was shown on TV,” she said. “It was a very emotional moment for me. but I keep on saying, I couldn’t do this without all the volunteers who work on this project.
"To get video messages from Ainsley, Rustie and Levi was just awesome. I've invited them to visit us up here in Preston when times are better and I hope they will."
The Windrush Community Response began at the start of the pandemic hoping to provide around 20 meals to elderly people in the city’s Caribbean community. But it now dishes up more than 400 every Friday from a kitchen at the Sanctuary.
The One Show sent a crew round with a giant screen on a trailer so host Alex Jones could surprise her with the award. Ainsley told her: “I’ve got to say a massive thank you because what you are doing is absolutely fantastic.”
Rustie said: “I’m so proud of you. I've heard about the great work that you are doing with the Windrush community." And Levi added his praise for the work she does.
“I can’t believe it,” said Glenda. “What a great surprise to hear from those three, but also all the messages that came from friends as well.
"I do this work because I feel passionate about the people. I love everybody and I just want everybody to love everybody else.
"I can't do it without the guys at the Sanctuary because they are the ones who come every single week, delivering the meals and encouraging me to keep going as well.
"We are here until April/May and then we are hoping to get our own building and land to do something.
"Apparently this had all been planned since October and it was set up for Ainsley, Rustie and Levi to come up. But obviously they couldn't due to lockdown, so we will hopefully get them here as soon as we can. They have been brilliant."
Glenda and her fried Sekeena Muncey founded the Preston Windrush group almost two years ago to help victims.
Since then they have launched their soul food kitchen in Fulwood to deliver Caribbean meals to the needy in all parts of the community. From an original target of around 20, they now serve more than 400 people every Friday with a team of volunteers.
“We couldn’t do this without all the great people who volunteer their time to help cook the food and deliver it,” she said. “It’s all done from donations.”
To help contact: The Windrush Response Team at https://www.prestonwindrush.co.uk/
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