Food and the ‘beauty of life’; jogging with Boris; helping the homeless

Thursday, 12th October 2017 — By Helen Chapman

People_Mohammed Safa

Mohammed Nurus Safa, 68, has owned the Indian Veg restaurant in Chapel Market for 31 years: “Our motto is ‘eat what you love and love what you eat’,” he says. “I love hearing my customers say they think the food is great.” Mohammed says “giving to others is the beauty of life” and feeds a minimum of 10 homeless people a day for free. He has lived in Holloway Road for 25 years: “We have new housing, new schools and the Angel N1 Centre was voted the best town centre – it makes Islington a great place to be.”


Nat Buckeridge, 24, is a Culture, Policy and Management student at City University. He lives in Angel, and likes “being by the canal, the Screen on the Green and having a great choice of art galleries .” Nat says: “I used to go for morning runs along the canal and would see Boris Johnson, also out on a jog, flanked by security guards. It was an entertaining sight.” He describes the changing scene of the Angel as “soulless”. “There used to be loads of independent shops – now it’s just full of chain restaurants.”


Denise Hunt, 53, has lived in Finsbury her whole life. “It used to be an area where everyone knew each other – until house prices began to rise,” she says. “People sold their council houses and moved out. It’s not so great as it used to be, it has less of a family feel.” Denise works in a homeless hub because she likes to help people: “Those who are on the streets with nowhere to go are Islington’s hidden people. It’s a growing problem now that the area is full of houses no one can afford.”

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