Since opening, Roast has actively supported a number of charitable and social endeavors in and around London.
Roast actively supports a wide range of projects that are close to our hearts. This means that every time you dine with us, you’re helping us give valuable donations, time and experience to hard-to-reach young people, ex-offenders and others in need.
Since day one, we’ve donated 10% of turnover from one table in the restaurant to support projects both in the UK and the rest of the world. Our founder Iqbal also mentors young people, including ex-offenders and aspirant entrepreneurs.
Investing in talent
We’ve hosted over fifty half-day training sessions at Roast for young people from local schools, The Prince’s Trust, army veterans and ex offender programmes. These vibrant and engaging sessions start with breakfast with our founder, Iqbal, followed by a tour of Borough Market to meet food producers and some time in the kitchen gaining hands-on experience of a career in catering.
Roast Foundation in Togo
In 2013, Iqbal joined the former Hezbolla hostage Terry Waite CBE to visit the troubled West African country of Togo. Terry heads a charity called Y Care International, which connects YMCAs around the world. The Togo branch is doing pioneering work with prisons, having released over a thousand people who had been falsely imprisoned and helping hundreds to find work or start their own businesses.
On his return, Iqbal said, “We visited the main prison there where I met detainees. I am now pursuing the release of two of them with their attorney general.” One of the prisoners was later released.
We were delighted to hear recently that a Roast Foundation investment to back five young women from a slum dwelling to study business has been extremely successful; now that they have completed their courses they are actively trading, employing others and paid back their tuition fees to enable others to go through the same journey.
Working with ex offenders
Over the years we have seen at first hand the transition of young London from a life away from crime and into work. We have recruited many people and given work experience to many more from Switchback and have taken on a number of prisoners on day release from Brixton Prison, which is home to the brilliant Clink restaurant and we also recently hosted a pop-up Roast in a Young Offenders Institute in south London.